Help Me Help You

help me help you

A results-oriented individual whose approach is “get-er-done” (as my dad likes to say), routinely exceeds expectations, and has great connections within the company receives a promotion. All great, right?

Well … it depends on how that person embraces the tenets of Expand Your Influence, a key element of The LAITHOS Way™ of leadership. That’s because two of the toughest transitions to make quickly are from an individual contributor to a team leader, and from a manager to an executive.

I’ve seen it dozens of times throughout my corporate years, and now as LAITHOS Co-Founder: either the individual focuses on doing the same things that resulted in the promotion or s/he keenly focuses on proving that the promotion was deserved. The common denominator in both of these scenarios is the absence of “team-above-self” – or servant leadership – mindset.

Now, I’m not saying the individual is selfish; rather, the servant leadership mindset is a muscle that must be exercised in order to successfully increase one’s impact; this is a significant component of expanding influence.

Put simply, the foundation of servant leadership is being of service … to your team, to your peers, to your stakeholders, etc. It doesn’t mean subjugating your beliefs and ideas to others, being at the beck and call of people or even completely taking the spotlight away from yourself. It means figuring out how you can best support what is needed in the moment.

For new team leaders, it means focusing on the team dynamics, championing the voices of all members, and actively supporting the growth and learning of the team. You no longer “do it yourself” because it’s easier or faster; you don’t dictate your perspectives or prescribe in a step-by-step fashion how a team member must execute a project; and you certainly don’t take the credit for your team’s work.

For those moving into an executive role, it means focusing on what you can do to impact the broader organization instead of what you can say to impress the C-Suite. You provide context when you know it’s helpful to others, and readily ask for context when you need it to take action. You “own” your new level versus feel you still have to “earn” it, which opens the door for taking risks on behalf of what is needed for the greater community.

This Week: Pay close attention to how you are showing up. When are you demonstrating a deep desire to serve others in a meaningful way versus wanting the attention or credit for yourself? Ask yourself “Am I putting the team above myself?” Where you cannot say “yes”, find ways to pivot your approach and make a difference for the strength of the team. All of you will benefit.

In Next Week’s Post, we’ll begin to explore the final element of The LAITHOS Way™ … Transform Your Horizons.


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