In our quest for personal and professional success, we often overlook a fundamental truth: our own achievements are intricately linked to the success and well-being of the people around us.
By shifting our focus from self-centered pursuits to actively supporting others, we unlock our full potential and create a ripple effect of growth and accomplishment in our personal network.
"I'm not gonna take care of my career anymore I'm gonna take care of my people. And the moment I did that everything changed because they wouldn't let me fail." ~ As related by Jim Collins (@level5leaders) on the @TKPPodcast, Episode #67
Authenticity of Motivation
When we embark on a journey of supporting others, it is crucial to examine our motivations. People can quickly discern whether our actions stem from a genuine desire to contribute to the greater good or simply serve our own interests.
Authenticity in our intentions establishes trust and fosters meaningful connections. By cultivating a genuine commitment to the success and well-being of others, we create an environment for collaboration and mutual growth.
As leaders, it is not enough to merely promote collaboration and growth; we must actively model the behavior we want to see in others. Just posting motivational phrases or holding meetings isn't going to cultivate a culture of support and achievement.
We must lead by example, consistently demonstrating our dedication to helping others grow and achieve their goals. The alignment of words and actions is what encourages those around us to follow the same path.
Strategies for Taking Action
Here's how you can put this to work in your personal situation.
- Identify Impactful Connections: Start by identifying three to five people within your close circle or professional network whom you can positively impact. Consider individuals who may benefit from your guidance, expertise, or support.
- Initiate Meaningful Conversations: Reach out to these individuals and initiate conversations centered on their needs, aspirations, and challenges. Practice active listening, ask thoughtful questions, and show genuine interest in their journeys. Keep the focus of these conversations squarely on the other person, avoiding discussions centered on your own work or goals.
- Deliver Resources and Support: Based on the insights gained from your conversations, provide the necessary resources, guidance, or assistance to help these individuals overcome obstacles and progress toward their goals. Offer your expertise, connect them with relevant contacts, or share valuable knowledge. Be generous with your time and expertise, supporting their growth in a way that fits their needs.
- Follow-Up and Sustain Engagement: Follow up with the individuals you are supporting to check on their progress and identify any additional needs or challenges. Show continued interest and offer ongoing support. Sustained engagement demonstrates your commitment to their success and reinforces the collaborative culture you aim to foster.
“Leadership is service, not position.” – Tim Fargo
Scenarios: When This Approach Can Be Helpful
Now you know how to get started, the real question is when? There's no single best time to do this type of work (how about now?), but here are some contextual prompts to help.
During a Job Search: When seeking new opportunities, shift your focus from self-promotion to actively supporting others. Engage in conversations, listen, and assist others in your field. Building meaningful relationships can open doors and lead to unforeseen opportunities.
Before a New Project Starts: Prioritize understanding your colleagues' strengths and aspirations before starting a new project. Identify ways to support their growth and align their goals with the project objectives. This creates a motivated team dynamic and sets the stage for success.
During Community Building Efforts: For community builders and emerging leaders, nurturing a supportive culture is essential. Engage with community members, understand their needs, and offer resources that help them achieve their goals. By investing in their success, you create a thriving and empowering community.
“The more we give away, the more is given to us.” – Wayne W Dye
By prioritizing the success and growth of others, we unlock our own potential for achievement. This is a process, not a box to be checked. Start as small as you need to in order to create the skills and familiarity you need to be successful.
Regardless of what matters to you, helping to create a powerful network of growth and achievement will be the ultimate marker of your success.