Do You Enlarge Others?
Leaders should be preoccupied with the thought: What can I say or do to make this person bigger?
Bigger. What do I mean by aiming to make people bigger? I mean, always asking what I can contribute to this person to make him or her more confident, capable, and independent. What can I do to help them become smarter, wiser, more able, grateful, graceful, loving, and alive?
Why would leaders invest their time to enlarge others?
The obvious answer may be so these people can serve the leader, the team, and the mission at a higher capacity. But that’s really the wrong answer.
Transformative leaders enlarge others because it is a core value they practice, regardless of what others can contribute back to them and their team. As leaders adopt this value, people willingly come along, because they know it is a culture of generosity they are becoming a part of. A culture that is infectiously positive. A culture that will change their lives.
What does it really mean to make others bigger?
Enlarging people is more than encouraging, empowering, uplifting, inspiring, boosting, emboldening, helping, pushing, aiding, or advancing. It is all of these combined. Your goal is to see people blossom gently, yet aggressively.
Enlarging people begins when you, as a leader, quietly pay attention to others. Listen to their dreams and help them become a reality. Discover people’s strengths and help them grow in them. Celebrate people’s successes and make sure they are recognized. Provide people with opportunities, and as you trust them, give them a chance to shine. As you practice these principles, you will be on your way to enlarging people.
How does enlarging others, enlarge you?
Friend, leadership is about people. If the people around you are becoming bigger because of your intentional effort, then I congratulate you for the positive impact you are making on the world. If they are not, or if they are becoming smaller—more timid, less capable, more afraid—I challenge you to change course today.
I tell everyone who joins my team, “In a year, I want you to be able to say, ‘I am a better person for having joined this team.’ And I want to play a role in making you a more capable person.” And then I say to them, “It is my expectation of you to be intentional to make me a better person in return. I want you to be a good example to me. Teach me, show me, and share with me.”
Creating a culture that enlarges others is always my goal. I hope you join me in making it your goal as well.
Let’s grow together!
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