By Linda Fisher Thornton
You may have noticed that society’s expectations of us as leaders are continuing to increase. Consumers prefer to choose companies that genuinely care about their well-being. Employees want to work for companies that treat people well, do meaningful work and give back to the community. To survive in this new land where ethics is key to success, we must understand that it is not all about us.
In a human development sense, our understanding of leadership has essentially “grown up” and moved past personal ego and a self-centered view of things.
Leadership may have once been defined by eloquence, power, or charisma, but today’s successful leadership is defined by creating value for others. In a human development sense, our understanding of leadership has essentially “grown up” and moved past personal ego and a self-centered view of things. It has progressed from being “all about us” to being about our long-term impact on others.
FROM SELF-CENTERED VIEW TO OTHER-CENTERED VIEW
FROM DEMONSTRATING POWER TO CREATING SHARED VALUE
What does this less self-centered view of leadership look like in action? It looks like this in a typical day:
- Talking with employees, customers and other stakeholders to learn their deepest needs
- Treating everyone with respect
- Asking how we can make things better for those we lead and serve
- Being open to change, adapting quickly, and staying competent (because these things define how others experience our leadership)
- Keeping ethics at the center of everything we do and every decision we make
We need to avoid thinking that it’s all about us. Today’s less self-absorbed leadership is all about proactively and ethically creating value for others.
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