Tuesday, July 31, 2018

To Become Powerful, Choose to Give Your Power Away

Many years ago I led an international organization with interests on five continents. One of our headquarters office in Chicago we were serving people of different backgrounds, languages, perspectives, and cultures. I’m so proud of the people I worked with—they had the courage and grace it took to lead effectively around the globe. But we had a major problem…

Every time there was a major problem, the solution was always the same: We need more money from North America!

I became increasingly frustrated with the recurring solution proffered by our friends and colleagues around the world. I was growing increasingly frustrated with them. What could I do or should I do?



“Then one day it hit me...They weren’t the problem, we were!”

We were the ones who had trained them! Our actions had communicated that we would help solve their problems, raise their funds for them, and when all else failed, come to their rescue. Wow, what a wake-up call. I even felt a sense of shame because we had ripped them off from the joy of hard work, overcoming obstacles, and celebrating wins with their colleagues.

But how could we communicate our new discovery to our friends around the world? We could call them up and say, “Great news! We’re not going to help you any more! You get to start figuring this out on your own!” We decided on a different strategy—we would train them to be leaders.

We looked at many different leadership curriculums and decided that John Maxwell’s materials were best for our needs. We needed to teach transferrable principles that could be understood and applied in remote parts of Asia and in downtown Moscow (Russia, not Idaho!).

What we learned is that training alone was not sufficient.

“True transformation demanded that we first touch the heart—and then teach the head.”

In the coming weeks we’ll be talking about heart surgery for the leader. We must move from status to service, from adding burdens to adding value. But start by answering one question everyday this week: Do I care more about the people or about the project?

Connect with the heart.

As Simon Sinek says, “Start with Why.”

This week's FREE DOWNLOAD is indeed the 10-page Executive Book Summary of Simon Sinek's Start With Why. You can get your own copy here.

Get awesome articles like this once a week!