“Results without relationships lead to disappointment”
Consider, if you would…
- Day-after-day, Little Jimmy comes home from school with awards, favorable comments on his homework, and certificates of achievement from his teachers. He works so very hard to be one of the best. He volunteers to help the teacher. His goal is to never disappoint those he loves. His teachers think he is the most adorable, brightest kid in the class. Yet, day-after-day, there is no one home that truly cares. His parents are so busy that they never even look at his papers, his work, his awards. Eventually, Jimmy loses the desire to excel. Ultimately, he begins to think that his extra efforts do not matter. He loses heart and becomes a mediocre student.
- Individual sports are great. You rely only upon yourself for achievement. You don’t depend upon a teammate performing well. You quietly go about your business. You win and hoist the trophy alone. On the other hand, team sports champions have a blast! They pile atop each other. They act like crazies. They have fun. They share stories as old men or women about “the championship.” Having teammates to share with in victory has no peer. The thrill of victory is never better than when shared with teammates!
In his book, True North, Bill George says this about the fulfillment of leadership:
“You cannot find that fulfillment by observing leaders from the sidelines or by being a brilliant observer from the press box, high above the arena. You have no choice but to get in there and get your face marred by dust and sweat and blood. That is what life and leadership are all about. Your fulfillment comes not from the money, the titles, the awards, or the recognition. These fleeting symbols of external gratification will vanish like the wind. What will remain are the memories:
- Working together toward shared goals with a group of people you care about
- Being passionate about helping other people or righting wrongs
- Toiling long hours to get it right
- Debating and arguing to understand each other’s points of views
- Failing and then regrouping to learn from your mistakes
- Growing together as leaders
- Making a difference in the world through your combined efforts
After reaching your goal together, pause long enough to celebrate your success before going on to the next challenge. Then, pass it on to those that carry on after you. That is the fulfillment of leadership.”
When I think of the greatest highlights of my life, every single one involves other individuals. Results, achievements, highlights… they are always better when they involve the culmination of effort from many, not a single person. Surely, receiving an individual award is nice, but the glow wears away quickly. The impact of doing something great — with others — outlasts what we do as individuals.
There are many accomplished individuals in the world… artists, composers, athletes, politicians, leaders…. that have done great things. But, their lives are filled with sadness. When you share your life with others, including your results and accomplishments, you gain fulfillment.
So, how can this help you become a better leader? The answer is simple… involve others in your life. Share your victories. Enjoy the victories of others. Celebrate together. Let your teammates know that “we win as a team.” It will enhance your experience as a leader AND it will drive better results in the end.
Celebrate something with someone else today! Find something positive to share! After all, “this could be our very best day yet!”