Remember, you are the President/CEO of Me, Inc. As president, leadership principles are imperative to your long-term success and achievement. Study them and apply them well.
Principle #2: Enlightened Leaders surround themselves with diversity of thought. They value input and they act upon it.
I was speaking to a business partner of mine recently on the way to the airport and I made the observation that most leaders are more concerned with building an empire than they are building a business.
While corporate America may have many downsides, one thing is universally true: A Howard Schultz (former Starbucks CEO — I highly recommend reading “From the Ground Up) surrounds himself with a diversity of thinkers… often called a board of directors. These directors provide input into the decision making process; and the savvy leader goes one step beyond having a board:
1. The Enlightened Leader regularly solicits input and opinions from their organization and team.
2. The Enlightened Leader encourages different opinions and ideas versus stroking their ego with individuals who always tell them they are wonderful and right (this is the toughest one).
All too often I have witnessed the would be leader who believes that all decisions must be made at the top (namely by themselves), that no one can teach my people except our highest company “leaders” (usually myself and the people I hand pick), and we don’t need outside help (because we know it all).
This is the culprit of a small ego attempting to feel large. This is a feeling of deep insecurity that manifests itself in authoritative rule and is absolutely deadly to the growth of your organization.
Oh yes, this approach will bring you success to a point, and maybe it has worked to a degree in the past. But this approach died centuries ago with Democracy and is dying daily in the corporate arena. Nothing is more certain than the fact that this approach is death to building your business in the new age of AI as well.
By the way, true participation and commitment goes beyond even Democracy. Having a say in matters, and being truly valued, is much more than having a vote.
I consistently find inbreeding of thought within organizations that believe “their monarchs are the only ones to listen to”, or “I cannot listen to anything or attend any seminar, read any literature that is not ‘approved’ by my company or “leader.”
While I do agree that it is the Enlightened Leaders role to provide duplicable systems and processes — it is not their role to control all thoughts (Hitler did this successfully…for a time). This approach is self-serving and limits each team member’s ability to be unique and grow.
The greatest call of you and I as leaders in today’s market is to build an environment whereby people can KNOW THEMSELVES. This is an environment of diversity, risk and constant growth. How can you do this more successfully as President of your own personal services corporation? For yourself? For members of your team? For those you work with and for?
Lead the field — never follow. Have your best week and make your life magnificent.