There is a strength, sometimes not understood, to be gained in actively supporting others to achieve success in their lives. We are often more bound to deliver personal achievement, and selfishness or self-interest can arise. Fundamental to personal achievement is a willingness to support others to achieve.
Over this season of December 2021 and January 2022, we are taking time out from our usual weekly newsletters and focusing in on the theme of Achievement. In this four-part series, I hope to be able to raise points for reflection that will enable greater achievement in your life, leadership and business.
Active Knowledge Question:
Can you list the people you actively stand beside to make their lives more successful?
The Achilles of effective achievement and leadership is self-interest. But, unfortunately, our society tends to look to position and wealth as the measure of success, which tends to draw self-interest as the default response.
‘I need to look after myself first as life is competitive.’
Some people seek to keep relationships in balance and always give when they receive and vice versa. However, others can ‘over give’, which can place a relationship out of balance, where the receiving party feels uncomfortable because they can’t reciprocate. And others are happy to receive and reluctant to give. And then some never thought of giving back to someone who has supported them; it just doesn’t cross their mind.
Whichever approach you may fall under, I believe giving should always be done without expecting reciprocation; otherwise, it is not giving.
Life is a competition, but it is against yourself and not others. Competition is not about beating everyone else but beating yourself by bringing your best to the forefront. It’s a competition to get your best self to the fore in everything you do and continually strengthen that best self. And to achieve this, it is better that you are a person who is humble and lives in gratitude.
Humility and Its Power
Humility may be described as a virtue, but it is not one I believe is held in high regard in today’s society. Rather it is seen by many as a weakness. It is, however, the seed of great leadership and great businesses and should be studied and pursued. It is the core to enduring success.
Humility is a virtuous strength that allows you to place someone else before yourself, uplift them and invest in them. It is not a sign of weakness or lack of ambition but rather a willingness to hold power in the service of others. It is reflected in the business leader who places the business, its employees and its customers before themselves. It allows that business leader to promote the strengths of everyone involved in the business and lead it to greatness by not placing their self-interest at the forefront.
Humility allows you to learn and be grateful, not take yourself too seriously, seek continuous improvement, take failure in your stride, and work with the best, at their best. It is a foundational trait upon which all else can be built as it allows you to be open to continuous improvement and learning and to win the trust, support and effort of everyone you work with. Humble people are the greatest leaders.
Gratitude and the Field It Creates
From the core of humility, you can look upon everything with thanks. Each morning, you can wake up with a positive outlook on life and with excitement about what the day will hold and what you can achieve. It’s not about seeing everything through a false lens but instead about viewing life through a lens that looks for opportunity, creating positive energy.
If you are grateful in your life, you will be a person who gives. And if you are a person who has thanks and giving as core traits, then positivity is generated, and success will flow. You may want to say it’s the Universe or God blessing you but do good things, and good things will happen to you is my experience.
So Why Help Others?
Well, my first response is simply because, as individuals, we should always seek to support those around us and, through such, build strong relationships and communities. It is the right thing to do.
In addition, as leaders, the competitiveness of a business rests in the combined talent and energy of all those whom we seek to lead. To be a successful leader, we must muster that combined talent and energy and bring it to the forefront to make our business as competitive as possible. And then, we need to grow and strengthen that competitiveness.
To do this, we need to invest in the capability of all those we lead and motivate them to contribute their utmost. And we also need everyone in that community doing the same.
Giving instructions, demanding performance, placing our interest first, withholding support and encouragement etc., are the actions that degrade and block performance. We need a business culture that eradicates such behaviour if the full potential of our business, the people within it, is to ever be realised.
And such culture will only ever be seeded, grown and sustained if each individual supports those around them.
This culture is ignited by you understanding the power of supporting others, adopting it and insisting that those in your community do the same.
Some further articles that will unpack this thinking further:
An entirely new level of performance.
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All the best in the success of your business,