sound barrier

Successful leaders propel others forward. It’s about them, not you.

Magnetism inward is inevitable, persistent, and backward to leadership. Backward leaders view life through the lens of personal impact and feelings. They ask:

  1. How does this impact me?
  2. How does this make me feel?
  3. How am I doing?

10 ways to spot selfish leaders:

  1. They evaluate you but you don’t evaluate them.
  2. Jabs and sarcasm that convey honest opinions in cowardly ways. (I’m all for fun, but this isn’t.)
  3. Speaking for subordinates in meetings rather than inviting them to speak for themselves.
  4. Suggestion boxes rather than honest conversations.
  5. Focusing more on performance than on the person.
  6. Anxiety concerning giving and receiving credit.
  7. They talk most and listen least.
  8. Withdrawal.
  9. Manipulation.
  10. Elitism.

Unselfish leaders know the height of your performance determines the height of their leadership.

Unselfish leader questions:

  1. How are they doing?
  2. How does this impact them?
  3. How does this make them feel?
  4. Where do they want to go?

Making others important amplifies your importance.

Minimizing others might maximize you, but it always weakens leadership.


Know their:

  1. Drives. You can’t lead people you don’t understand. All you can do is manipulate, coerce, and pressure.
  2. Dreams. More than knowing, help them achieve their dreams, even if they eventually exclude you.
  3. Strengths.
  4. Fears. They won’t tell you their fears so watch for them.
  5. Frustrations. Anger reveals who they are.

Illustration of #2:

A volunteer leader is taking on new management responsibilities in our organization. I know he dreams of moving into management in his employment.

Align new responsibilities with future dreams.

How do you think he feels about volunteer opportunities that propel him toward his dream? It’s about aligning with him, not me. I serve him. It’s about release not pressure.

How do you spot an inwardly focused leader?

What behaviors enable outward focus?

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