You can’t be a leader, if you don’t understand this.

IMG_0521Some events unfolded recently that inspired me to update an article from last Thanksgiving. It’s pretty hard to motivate someone to accomplish a goal if they don’t think you’re in the boat with them. You can only yell “stroke” from the beach for so long. Pretty soon, they won’t be able to hear you. Then what?

I am reminded about something a mentor told me years ago. “You can’t keep what you have, unless you give it away”. Seems counter-intuitive, but when applied properly, it can make all the difference. Thanksgiving is not only about giving thanks, it’s an opportunity to give. And giving should never be limited to a certain time or a special occasion.

We should always be looking to improve the lives of those around us.

Serving others places great value in them and is an awesome motivator. It works with teammates, co-workers, loved ones, etc.. This means selflessly giving your time, talent, wisdom and experience. Love others as you love yourself and you will gain the ability to influence. Do this sacrificially and you get to keep that influence.

People will follow a leader that vests time, energy and love into them.

True servant leaders ask for nothing in return, deflect recognition unselfishly towards others and thrive in their humility. They are constantly allowing others to shine and giving them development opportunities.

If you can’t see yourself that way, I suggest you consider another path. If you cannot humble yourself and submit to the slow work of gaining influence by sacrificing and serving others, leadership will only be something you read about, instead of something you live.

Find someone or something to pour love into, everyday.

Gain true influence by serving that purpose.