Leaders understand that they do the work for themselves

I saw poet and author David Whyte several days ago. He spoke for an hour and a half to probably 1,000 of us that packed into the venue. I overheard one woman say that she had driven up from Portland, Oregon (3-4 hour drive) to attend. When I was recounting the evening to my young son, I stumbled upon a thought that hasn’t left me. See, for the 1,000 of us at the show, we were committed. We bought a ticket. We left our homes or our workplaces. We drove to an unfamiliar place. We fought the traffic. We found a place to park. We endured the driving rain while walking into the venue. We got there early. We stayed in our seats. We listened. And, the thought that hasn’t left me is this: we did all of this not because of who the speaker was as a person, but because we knew how the speaker would make us feel. We did all of the work to get to that place at that time for ourselves. There is a key lesson here. People will move heaven and earth not because of who you are, or how great you are, but because of how you make them feel. They will do all of the work, but only because it adds value of some kind and in some way to them. If we want others to move on the organization’s mission, let’s make that mission personally meaningful.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on December 13, 2018

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