As the leader of your business, your main responsibilities include providing strategic direction for the business and the leadership necessary to get there — among other things. Chances are though, that you did not wake up one day and suddenly become the leader that you are today. Your skills, your empathy, and your drive have all been developed over time and you most likely were influenced by others along the way.
The strong leaders that I know, do not hesitate to give back. Giving back can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. It can mean writing a check, volunteering for a worthy cause, or coaching one of your kid’s sports teams. Another way, is to give back to the people around you.
All leaders strive to have their staff play up to their potential. But how does that happen, what’s the path for them to take? It could be sharing problem-solving skills with your team so that they can more effectively handle the day-to-day issues that come up. It’s not having you solve the problem, but showing them how you would solve the problem. I sometimes hear managers critical of staff because they didn’t solved an issue the way they would have. Well, this is a chance to show them how you would have handled that situation, the steps that you took, and why.
Giving back could mean finding those people within your organization who have aspirations of doing far more than what they are doing today. Have a meaningful conversation with them, what are their dreams, what are the impediments in their way, and identify ways that you can help guide them. This is about giving your time, just as others have done for you.
Sharing your experiences, and helping others to reach a higher level not only feels good, but is a good thing. You benefit from the satisfaction of helping others, they benefit from moving closer to their goals, and your organization benefits by having people more committed and engaged in what they do — through your leadership.
The last way I’ll mention may sound self-serving, but it’s effective. By teaching and sharing with others, it can make you better at what you do. For some, the fact that you have to articulate how you would approach a scenario makes you think it through, and at times doing that can help to “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey would say. Similar to learning something new when you know you’ll have to teach it to someone.
Give this some thought. This post isn’t about printing or sales, or about finance. It’s about the impact you can make as a leader in sharing and giving back to those around you. Good luck with this and remember, doing nothing is not an option!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.