By Lindsey Tolino
Have you seen Simon SinekÂs TED talk ÂWhy Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe?Â If you havenÂt, go watch it now. If youÂre short on time, IÂd rather you watch it than read the rest of this post (but if you have time – come back!).
In Simon’s talk, he eloquently articulates great leadership. He states that leadership is a choice and not a rank. He asserts that followers sacrifice for their leader because they say their leader would do it for them.
Serving should be the hallmark of every area in your business. Serving doesnÂt have to be a zero-sum game. In fact, weÂre even more innovative and successful when weÂre motivated to help others.
Great leadership is characterized by great service. And so, hereÂs the one simple question to check your leadership:
Who I am serving?
As a leader, every decision you make should serve others. But that doesnÂt mean you should run your business into the ground because youÂre sacrificing its health for the sake of those it serves. In fact, the opposite is true. Serving well means that you seek to run a healthy business so that you can sustainably serve people for the long run.
Similar to a mom who needs to take time to be healthy herself so she can better serve her children in the long run, you need to make decisions to ensure your business is healthy as well. This may mean closing your business for a week to remodel in order to better serve customers. Or it may mean closing down over the holidays to serve your employees. Or it may mean you taking a week of vacation to rest and recharge so you can better serve when you return.
Ultimately though, your leadership should be characterized by serving others. This should be evident in how you manage every aspect of your business:
- Marketing shouldnÂt be motivated by a desire to gain sales – it should be motivated by a desire to serve the customers who are looking for your products.
- QA/QC procedures shouldnÂt be motivated by a fear of being sued – they should be motivated by a desire to provide the best product possible.
- Clean finances shouldnÂt be motivated by fear of an audit or desire to get ahead – they should be motivated by a desire to have clean numbers so that the best decisions can be made to serve people well in the long-run.
These seem like small distinctions, but they are huge. They can be the difference between having a good company and having an revolutionary one.
It seems that few business leaders are motivated to serve people through every aspect of their business. You can be revolutionarily different by using your business as a tool to serve others.
Great leadership isnÂt easy, but itÂs simple – serve others well in every aspect of your business.