One of the biggest challenges for any leader is to maintain a holistic perspective of the world.
Too often, the pressures of the market, of shareholders, and the organization, keep the leader looking inward.
This inward-looking behavior extends to the rest of the organization, because people “follow the leader”.
As a result, the organization continues to spiral down into egocentric, myopic and self-serving behavior.
Unfortunately, this self-serving attitude, and way of being, puts the organization in the class of “most” businesses, and therefore, dilutes whatever uniqueness or differentiating power it may have.
People on the outside of the organization, from customers to partners to suppliers to investors, see the organization as one that is more about itself, and less about them.
They see it as “just another” organization in the gray mist of sameness.
People within the organization find the work less and less meaningful, as it becomes obvious that, to survive, they need to go against their nature.
They start to look for new jobs.
Leaders who preempt this slide down the slippery slope of self-serving sameness, take their organizations to a better and more unique place.
They orientate their entire organization’s purpose, intent, attitudes and behavior around the needs, values, interests, and aspirations of people both inside and outside the organization.
They set a standard, develop a culture, and manage their organizations in ways that elevate the organization’s status as a purposeful and meaningful entity.
In their interactions with people, they don’t focus on “what” they do, or “how” they do it; rather they focus on the “why” of what they do.
And they don’t simply talk about “why” they do it; rather, through their attitudes and behavior, they actively demonstrate their unwavering commitment to their “why”.
Hence, everything they do helps the people vital to the organization’s success feel more capable, more enriched, more connected, and more gratified.
Not through hollow promises, but through concrete actions, heartfelt gestures and empathetic attitudes.
Of course, leaders that matter continue to look inside the company, always ensuring its financial and operational success; but their thoughts and actions are always driven by a broader perspective of what truly matters.
It isn’t always easy to do, but for any leader who wants to prevail in the marketplace, there is little choice; and huge opportunities.