During an interview last week, I was asked: What’s the biggest insight you’ve had regarding leadership throughout your career?
This post originally appeared on December 3, 2011. Since we recently released our 10th Anniversary Edition, it seemed like a good idea to share it again.
Great leaders serve. It’s the name of my website, but it’s also something I’ve learned over the years. Great leaders serve others and they do so in five very strategic ways. Ken Blanchard and I wrote about these practices in our book The Secret – What Great Leaders Know and Do. We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary edition of The Secret but the lessons are as true today as they were when it was first published.
This is the final post in the series to celebrate the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Secret. Although each of the SERVE practices are essential, today’s topic may be the most critical of them all… If we want to build trust, credibility and ultimately followship, we must understand: people always watch the leader.
All human beings have strengths. My friend Marcus Buckingham has helped raise the world’s awareness of this fact. The tragedy: many people ignore, or under utilize their strengths. For a leader, the opposite is often true. If we’re not careful and strategic, we can overuse them.
Change – besides, religion and politics, there are few other topics that are so polarizing. Some people are opposed to change regardless of the reason, rationale or logic. Others, often leaders, make a living creating it. The irony is, even some leaders don’t love it, but they instigate it anyway. Why? Leaders understand: Progress is always preceded by change.
Think of a time you were all in. Perhaps it was on a sports team, or a cheerleading squad; maybe you were serving as a volunteer in your community; or maybe it was at work. Have you ever considered why you were so fired up? It was no accident.
As we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Secret, I thought I’d write about each of the five practices Ken and I outlined in the book. Although the practices were never intended to represent the steps or process of becoming a leader, the first practice is where leadership begins. Great leaders See the Future.
During an interview last week, I was asked: What’s the biggest insight you’ve had regarding leadership throughout your career? That’s a really good question. How about you – how would you answer that question? The microphone is yours, what would you say?
People always watch the leader – whether you want them to or not. What are they looking for? Fundamentally, people are watching the leader for clues – clues regarding what’s important to the leader and clues to determine if the leader is trustworthy.
The fourth practice in the Great Leaders SERVE model is Value Results and Relationships. This is the most difficult of the five practices for many leaders – it’s certainly the most difficult for me. When I ask other leaders why this is so hard, they all know.