‘All about Me’ to ‘All about You’
Soccer was my all time favorite sport growing up. I cheered for a few soccer super heroes like Pele, Maradona and David Beckham along the way. They were known to take the ball from their side of the field all the way to the opponents goal post, without passing the ball to anyone. Few years later, the world of soccer realized that while soloist can be great, it is when the team plays together and passes the ball to each other, they become more effective. Of course it was not a new finding, but it had to be intentionally brought into the awareness of each player, especially our great super heroes. This concept is also very valid and similar in the world of business. Many leaders are great in what they do, and find it much easier to go full speed alone in performing the tasks ahead of them. They have a natural bias for action. Additionally, because they are uncertain how well others will perform they neglect passing of the ball to others. However, if leaders invest in their own people and help them become successful in what they do, the organization will experience exponential growth. Truly, one is too small of a number to achieve greatness on its own.
This is a huge challenge for a leader as it requires them to have a shift in their mindset, from all about myself to all about you. My mentor, John Maxell in his book, Leadershift, explains that there are a few realities leaders face as they transition to this mindset.
- Go Slower so that You Can Go Farther – If you go alone, you can go faster, however only when you have a team with you, can you go farther. As leaders, we shouldn’t think how fast can we go, rather how far can we go. Simon Sinek, in his book The Infinite Game says “To ask, “What’s best for me” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.”.
- Recognize that You Need Other People – As a leader I initially thought that people needed me, but the leader needs to realize that the leader needs people. There is something beautiful about the leader or humility of the leader who looks at the people and reaffirms I need you.
- Put the Spotlight on the Others – Leaders should be people of value, adding value to others. John Wooden, UCLA Basketball Coach, said to his team ‘when someone passes you the ball and you shoot, then point to that person and say you are the one who passed me the ball so that I could shoot. Acknowledge that person.’ Someone asked the coach what happens if they are not looking. Coach said, they will always be looking.
How do we transition from ‘all about me’ to ‘all about you’ mindset:
- Focus on Adding Value to People Daily – People do not forget individuals who helped them improve. Not only do they remember them, but they also become loyal to the one who helps them improve. Once you add value to people and help them grow, they will go the extra mile to help you get what you want.
- Give Without Keeping Score so Motives Stay Pure – In the previous point, I explained if you help people grow, then they will be wiling to go the extra mile for you. However, if you help people expecting something in return, then people can easily see through the motive. People are tired of being used by others and are looking for someone who will truly value them and add value to them.