4 Ways That Leading People Will Change Your Life
Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” - John Maxwell
There’s a relatively small list of events – some of which I have admittedly yet to experience for myself – many consider life-changing.
I think we can all agree that each of the pivotal moments below (listed somewhat chronologically) are significant in their own right:
- Pursuing a post-secondary or higher education
- Buying a home
- Selecting a profession or career
- Having children and starting a family
But I want to add one of my own, and think there’s plenty of reasons for its inclusion: leading people.
Here are 4 ways that inspiring others through leadership will change your life:
1. Leading others will cement your values.
People in positions of authority and influence never stop making decisions.
In many instances, these choices often put them in difficult or uncomfortable situations. Whether it’s related to personnel, strategy, or organizational culture, there are times when leaders arrive at a philosophical crossroads with what they know is right for business vs. what they believe in as people.
Faced with arriving at conclusions that will ultimately affect everything from revenues to livelihoods, leaders have to search high and low within themselves to do what’s best for their teams – and the bottom line. This often means examining issues from all angles, considering varying viewpoints, and consulting others who they trust and admire.
Being forced to make so many different types of decisions, leaders have to continuously question their own beliefs on x, y, and z. But ultimately, this allows them to cement their values and become one with who they are and what they’re all about.
2. Leading others provides an elevated sense of purpose.
Over time, the nature of work has evolved drastically, and as such, so has what it means to lead people.
For better or worse, we bring our roles and responsibilities with us everywhere we go. Gone are the days of the traditional 9-5, replaced with a plugged-in, real-time relationship with work.
I would argue that this shift has created an even larger sense of accountability that all great leaders feel towards their people. Not only have the stakes to lead others to their professional or personal objectives increased, but in turn, so has the fulfillment.
Watching those who you’ve poured so much of yourself into grow, develop, realize their dreams or achieve their intended results will provide you with an elevated sense of purpose. For many, this strengthens the individual and organization while increasing one’s capacity to lead others.
3. Leading others will alter your perspective.
Assuming you’ve assembled a diverse team with a wide variety of backgrounds, skill-sets and experience, building relationships with your people will almost certainly alter your perspective on the world.
And frankly, that’s a great thing for your organization and career as a leader.
There are so many brands who refuse to admit that they spend too much time playing the only game they know, using the same rules from forever ago. More simply put, anybody with a perspective that subverts the norm is considered radical or out-of-touch.
By choosing to be a leader who not only considers everyone’s ideas, but who embraces the notion that your employees may even have better ones than you do, you open the door to seeing things differently. And frankly, to survive in today’s noisy social world (thanks GaryVee!), an imaginative perspective is everything.
4. Leading others will sharpen your skills.
There’s never a dull moment when you’re leading a team of people.
It’s an inherently human tendency to butt heads with someone you don’t see eye-to-eye with, be jealous of someone who has something you don’t, or to fiercely defend your position on an issue even when you start to feel you may be wrong. But when you’re in charge, sometimes you have to improve your willingness to adapt or avoid these behaviours.
It’s all about self-improvement – especially as a leader.
Reconsidering the skills we have, the things we know and the type of leader we are… our teams are constantly putting us in positions where we have to remain on top of things. Are you well-versed in policies and procedures? What types of professional development are you pursuing? Do you know how your decisions, small and large, are affecting your team?
There’s nothing quite like knowing that other people’s happiness, likelihood to succeed, growth and development hinge on your own abilities as a leader. However, the pressure associated with being at the helm can be a huge motivator to stay sharp and as up-to-date as possible. Use this to your advantage and show your team you are committed to them!
How do you think that leading people impacts/would impact your life? Does being a leader of others provide satisfaction to everyone? Why or why not? Feel free to discuss in the Comments section below!