Leadership Means Putting Others First

Leadership Means Putting Others First
If you’re in a lead­er­ship position within an orga­ni­za­tion, it doesn’t stop at the office. The most effective leaders are leaders both in and out of work. As painful as it is to admit, I’m nowhere near the leader or person I hope to be. I’ve recently had three different inter­ac­tions with friends in which my actions were dis­ap­point­ing, and with less than desirable outcomes. What did they have in common? My “ME FIRST” attitude—I acted on “ME first,” because my thoughts were of “ME first.” I was focused on my agendas without listening to, under­stand­ing, or con­sid­er­ing the wants and needs of others. Yep, I was pretty dis­ap­pointed in myself. So after apol­o­giz­ing and wallowing in self-pity, I decided to do something about it. I need to improve on putting others first—do you?

Listen Better

My listening skills are chal­lenged at best. To put others first, I’m con­cen­trat­ing on what they have to say, not so much about what I want to say. Asking open-ended questions helps.

Be More Considerate

These words are so common, I think they’ve lost their meaning. Being con­sid­er­ate means con­sid­er­ing what others want and need, and how my actions may affect their desires.

Think Past the Moment

What may seem appro­pri­ate for the moment, may not be, when viewed through a wider lens. I ask myself, “how important is this now?” What are the con­se­quences of my actions?

Set Ego Aside

This is my Achilles heel. It’s the big one. I want things to go my way because… I’m special. I want to share infor­ma­tion and show how knowl­edge­able I am, even if it hurts others; I seldom hesitate to disparage others if I think it will get ME a laugh. I’m working on setting my ego aside; besides… self-deprecation is in-style, isn’t it?

When your actions are thought­less and hurtful, an apology never brings back the time lost in regret; by the time you realize what you’ve done, it can be too late. It would be unre­al­is­tic to think I’ll never put myself in this position again—I will. But I can work towards reducing it, can’t I? In the long run, putting others first is in my best interest, AND theirs. Leaders put others first. Be a leader 24/7.

About Randy Clark

Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he regularly blogs for TKO's Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He is a beer geek and, on weekends, he fronts the rock band, Under The Radar. He is the proud father of one educator, one principal, has four amazing grandchildren, and a public speaker wife who puts up with him. His twitter handle is: @randyclarktko, Facebook: Randy Clarktko, Google+: Randy Clark on G+
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