Every generation of leaders likes to believe they invented the newest and most effective way to manage people, build profitable companies, and “build a better mousetrap.” The reality? We didn’t do it ourselves. The achievements of our businesses, inventions, and other ideas were an outcome of working effectively with and through others to achieve the intended results, and at the same time acknowledging our predecessors.
True leaders are humble and take great care of their teams. They set aside their egos, hubris, and other personality impediments to pave forward the pathway and open new doors to achieve their intended results. If they’ve made a lot of money, it is shared appropriately. If they created a lot of press, they generously include others’ contributions in their brag statements. (http://TimeToBrag.com)
Why are these insights important?
1. When you understand that your success stands on the shoulders of your mentors, business advisors, bosses, and team members, you become humble knowing you didn’t go it alone. It makes it easier for others to want to work with you and share their knowledge and experiences, since it’s not all about you and your credentials or paycheck.
2. It’s never solely your ideas or creativity that make the system or product work. Sharing the credit works wonders for current and future undertakings. Asking the right questions, listening and building upon ideas, and making available (or creating) the required resources are key traits of leaders. They ensure others stick with you during the design, launch, and refinement processes of your projects.
3. Documentation of your process, including charts and graphs, helps others visually understand the progress. They can then see potential glitches and possible solutions, and not rely on any overly optimistic feelings of triumph you might have. Documentation also provides a foundation for you, and them, to build on for the next venture.
Remember, leadership and business, as most things in life, are evolutionary—they build on previous successes and learn from past failures to create the next victory.
©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013