“If it’s all about you, your leadership is not only unhealthy, it dies with you.”

“It’s All About Me” became a top-ten hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 the week of May 16, 1998. It fared better on the R&B Singles Chart, reaching number two.

I met a leader a number of years ago who said, “I’ve been in the limelight so long, I’m getting sunburned.” I thought, how emotionally immature can a leader be and how tragic for those following him. Sorry to say, but that song and the irresponsible statement of a so-called leader sum up too much of today’s leadership.

Unselfish leadership, regardless of venue, is rare today. I often say, “Great leadership is like the Abominable Snowman. He’s rarely seen, but his footprints are everywhere.”

If providing significant and sustainable leadership is your desire, then be “seen” less, say less and move over and use your influence to help others find their way to center stage.

Use these seven actions to demonstrate that you understand your leadership influence and responsibility involves more than your skills, tasks and titles. It’s about elevating and empowering others:

1. Get over yourself. Leadership is about leveraging your influence for the sake of others, not for your own self interests.

2. Be easy to understand and follow. Be predictable and avoid surprises. Great leaders make the complex challenges simple and the cloudy things clear.

3. Encourage others to dream and stop flooding every meeting with only your dreams and how much you need your team to help you fulfill them.

4. Lead with informed boldness. Maintain the posture of a warrior, but never be stupid. Bravery means understanding the risks and possessing the courage to attack the challenge in spite of them.

5. Remain focused on the vision. Great leaders constantly move their team toward a preferred and agreed upon future without giving in to distractions.

6. Create and maintain a winning culture, leadership’s number one daily priority. Managers study the operations manual and hold people responsible for their actions. Leaders create a winning environment and hold people responsible for their attitude. Great organizations have both.

7. Make informed decisions. Providing accurate, adequate and shared information, coupled with open and honest discussion, is the only way that happens. The more power and authority you have, the fewer decisions you should make. It’s called developing and empowering others, “Leadership 101.”

Leadership is just as much about helping others achieve their dreams as it is seeing your own come true. “Even the Son of Man came to serve, not be served.” (Mark 10:45)

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more–you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams