We were nearing the end of our four-month coaching assignment when I asked him what he had learned. His response: “The power of giving away my strength.”
Wow! What a terrific way to think about leadership; successful and professionally fulfilled senior executives always believe in teaching. Teaching can be formal, like presenting at training events, or leading teams in creative or strategic dialogues. Or, it can be informal, like holding spontaneous, yet deep conversations about initiatives. Excellent teachers are excellent listeners; their higher perspectives displace their ego. Listening requires subordinating the ego and suspending judgment. Only those with advanced maturity have this capability.
One of our coaching objectives is for people to become profoundly aware of their personality strengths and build a strategic vision to employ their personality in the most creative and beneficial way. As part of this process, we also create a personal branding statement in seven words or less. This particular leader’s branding statement is: “I inspire people to use facts imaginatively.” Before coaching, he often used facts to win arguments and resolve conflict in his favor. Now, it’s not about winning or feeding his ego. It’s about helping others grow by encouraging them to think of bigger, more strategic ideas. As a result, people are expanding the boundaries of what they can accomplish under his guidance. In addition, senior management has begun to notice the profound difference in his leadership style.
Put this into practice this week. First, take a moment to ask yourself, “What am I really good at?” Now, think about how you can give this strength to another person. For example, if you are super-conscientious and organized, can you offer to coach an imaginative, but disorganized colleague? If you are great at networking, can you help out a colleague who is incredibly talented, but painfully introverted? What’s critical is a sincere desire to give away your natural gift, to help another person in their journey. Giving away your strength is the most evolved type of offering. When you expect nothing in return, it means you have overcome fear and the ego’s need for recognition.
Giving away your strength by helping others is the purest form of leadership. Even if you don’t hold a leadership role, giving away your strength can reap big rewards. When you selflessly teach or make someone else better, they know it. The powerful law of reciprocity ensures that they will repay you in some form or fashion. Now that’s a win-win!
Learn more about leveraging your strengths through our book, Becoming A Strategic Leader, available on Amazon. If you’re interested in learning more about our business coaching, please visit TopLineTalent.com to watch our 10-Minute Test Drive and learn how we can elevate your sales team through affordable, self-paced training.
Dr. George Watts
Chairman Top Line Talent