Most of us—myself included—believe that the best leaders are those who help, support, guide and serve. But what we don’t always realize is that the more we give, the more we help, the more we guide, and the more we serve, the more we get back in return.
Great leaders serve with their time. The precious resource of time is among the greatest of gifts. When we give freely of our time we get gratitude in return. It’s a reward that can rarely be bought, and it has great value.
Great leaders serve with empathy. When we think about those who matter to us most, those who have made the biggest difference in our lives, it is not the ones who offered us quick fixes or even the best advice, but it is the ones who listened to us with empathy. When we offer empathy and listening ear, and we are rewarded with learning.
Great leaders serve with patience. Patience is not learned when everything is going well but is cultivated when everything is falling apart and nothing is going right. Great leaders extend their support, allowing what needs to happen without looking for perfection. In return, we gain new stores of patience for the future.
Great leaders serve with recognition. When we give recognition to another, we are finding special moments and acknowledging their gifts. It is among the noblest gestures, and in return we receiving the gift of knowing we have helped others grow.
Great leaders serve with connection. When we care about others, we make it our business to connect with them; when we connect we create intimacy; when we create intimacy, we feel connected; and connection creates loyalty. When we connect with others we receive alliance.
Great leaders serve with forgiveness. We all make mistakes and mess up. That means we are risking more, trying more, taking more chances. When we allow the space for forgiveness, in return we receive creativity and innovation.
Great leaders serve with mentorship. There are many ways to pass on wisdom and skills, and help others learn how to be better in their lives. When we lighting the heart of someone else, in return the our own flame is extended.
Great leaders serve with great returns, when we commit to serving, the benefits are exponential.
When we are of service to others—when we give, support, guide, mentor—we are really receiving what we need most.
Lead From Within: Do what great leaders do and be of service to others. Give much and receive much in return.
© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tommy Ingberg
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.