How Leaders Get Exponential Returns

American author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said,

“You can get everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Goal achievement is oddly paradoxical in this way. In order to achieve our goals, we must become wholeheartedly and unselfishly invested in others’ development!

I learned this not long after I began my leadership career. I had little influence among my team, but once I began leveraging my new title to solve their problems, I became indispensable.

It was only then I realized that if I wanted to advance in leadership, I would have to become dispensable again!

I spent the following years focusing on the empowerment of my team. I saw how they could do things beyond their scope; I saw their potential and equipped them to fulfill it. And over time, I thought less and less of what I was getting out of it and more and more of how incredible my team was.

We were able to increase our results exponentially. As a result, I could promote one of my team members to my position so I was able to take on a new leadership role.

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In the leadership space, you hear this phrase repeated often:

“We are better together.”

In achievement, in production, in all ways, we are better together. And when we focus on getting better together, we all end up closer to what we want.

You are a value generator. There is no limit to the investment that you can make in your team, just like there is no limit to their potential. As you lead your team this week, consider how you can shift your mentality from “me” to “we,” and how you can increase your capacity to add value in these four ways.

1. Adding value daily.

When we do something every day, it becomes habit – and habits shape more than just our actions. They shape our actions over time, which shape our results. Adding value daily helps create consistency in our ability to invest in others.

Take a look at the items lined up on your to-do list today – your meetings, one-on-ones, due projects, and other engagements – and ask yourself, “Where can I add value today? Who can I help? Who can I go above and beyond for?”

2. Adding value as often as possible.

I’m about to say something that sounds obvious, and maybe a little grim for as development-focused as I like to be, but it is true nonetheless: not every seed you sow will take root.

So, hedge your bets by adding value at every opportunity. Even if the seed doesn’t take root, there is good in adding value – for you and for the person receiving it. Sow all of the seeds that you have and none of them will be wasted.

3. Adding value first.

But unlike the literal sowing of seeds, there is never a bad time to add value. There is never a more opportune moment to invest in someone else than right now.

Add value first – before someone else adds value to you, before they show signs that they even might, and before you see the full picture of what they might become. Be the first to hold others to a high standard and be the first to adequately equip them to exceed it.

4. Not keeping score.

Do not add value just to receive something in return. Do not add value only to those who you feel might be able to benefit you.

Yes, it’s true that the things we want to accomplish are often too big for us to achieve alone. Whether you need training, knowledge, mentorship, or resources, someone will have to contribute to your goal at some point. This is one of the reasons that adding value is a beneficial direction for your mind to be oriented.

But it should not be your main motivation for adding value to others. People are not like material assets that you only invest in to reap the rewards when they appreciate in value. They have value, and you add value to them so that they can reap the rewards. And as a result, both of your perspectives change.

That’s all for now,


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