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.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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.
24. Jun, 2014
Great post Lolly! This line was the first one to jump at me, “When we offer empathy and listening ear, and we are rewarded with learning.” Maybe because it is one of those situations I don’t enter into with a goal of learning – so I am always surprised when I do. …And maybe I learn better because I’m not tryint to learn. I’m just seeking to understand and support. Thank you for causing me to pause and ponder.
24. Jun, 2014
Truthfully, this post makes me look at my desire to serve and where I’m falling short… like with patience. Even small changes will not only make a more meaningful impact on others, but also add so much more to my own life and leadership.
24. Jun, 2014
An inspiring post, Lolly as you help us see leadership as a gift of giving!
What speaks to me is , “Great leaders serve with connection”.
When leaders take the time to cultivate relationships and show others how much they care, they are helping to build future and nurturing leaders.
When we can model reaching out to others and asking them about their lives and dreams, we are leading in a meaningful way.
Thank you Lolly for your thought-provoking post and leadership!
24. Jun, 2014
I appreciate how you identified and described
qualities of great servant leaders within
the framework of the Law of Reciprocation…the
law of circulation.
Thought provoking post as usual.
25. Jun, 2014
You had me with this statement: “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.”
So true! And thanks for the great reminders of all the ways in which we can truly be rewarded in return!
Great post, Lolly…as always 🙂
30. Jun, 2014
We are mistaken if we think that a leader leads to get what he wants. A great leader knows that serve the needs of others is the highest goal
01. Jul, 2014
The needs of others is our vocation.
Thanks Warren for sharing.
15. Jun, 2015
Thanks you Lolly
28. Sep, 2015
Top list Lolly, thank you for sharing. The question about who we serve is critical. Are leaders being pulled by their ego and serving just material ambitions (VW) or hearing the call of their vision and inspiring their teams? Along with giving time, Great Leaders enable Mastery and Autonomy and provide Purpose.
06. Mar, 2016
Thanks For Sharing so. Much With me lolly , and Allowing me a Chance to Share my Thoughts and Feelings as Well , Great Empathy.. This Lets me Know Great Leaders Can Also be Great Friends .
22. Dec, 2022
Great Article, I love this. 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.
Thanks for sharing