One Shift That Will Revolutionize Your Leadership Why We Should See Others as People and Not Team Members
In 2008, I made one dynamic shift in my thinking that catapulted my leadership to new heights. I want to share it with you today: Don’t see the people working alongside you as employees or team members; see them as people.
Here is why this simple yet powerful shift will revolutionize your leadership.
We All Respond to Love
Read this powerful statement from Sun Tzu, the pre-eminent Chinese general, strategist, philosopher, and author of the Art of War. Keep in mind this advice from 500 BC was issued to his military leaders on how to lead their soldiers.
Regard your soldiers as your children and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. – Sun Tzu
If I were to offer you one quote or principle about leadership, this would be the one. When we genuinely regard those we lead with the same esteem and gentle care as we do our own children, everything changes. Everything. Because love flows freely. And we were all made to respond to love. We should purposefully build others up, care for them, and nurture them. We are all drawn to leaders who are truly vested in our wellbeing, and not merely what we can do for them as employees to get a job done.
So, can we think of and treat those we lead as our children? Yes. Absolutely.
You Can’t Fake It
There is a caveat to loving others: You can’t trick people. You must find it deep in your heart to genuinely see people as fellow humans. Not so they will follow you more closely, give more of themselves, or even do a better job. You must love other people simply because you believe in your heart it’s the right thing to do. Period.
The key to maintaining love for others is a constant commitment one must make in his heart to give. Our natural tendency as humans is to take. But the essence of parenting is giving. It is selfless and sacrificial giving. Likewise, the essence of healthy leadership is selfless and sacrificial giving of oneself for others.
For me, if anyone loves me as their son, it’s a done deal. I am theirs. If you treat me as your beloved son, that means you give me your best without reservation. You push me forward—gently, sternly, lovingly. It means you love me unconditionally. I would be crazy not to go with you! And I will. And others will go with you as well when you love them genuinely.
Next Step: Place the quote above by Sun Tzu above your desk, or somewhere where you will see it, and read it over the next week.
For Further Reading: