Naturally, so much of what we read about leadership and personal development is focused on us and how we can improve as an individual. There is no shortage of resources or ideas that one can adopt and apply to their own lives. I’m happy that for anyone who is interested in living a meaningful life that there is a bevy of material at their disposal. What I sometimes find missing in this quest for self-improvement is a focus on the other people in your life. We can spend so much time looking inward that if we are not careful we will miss opportunities to reach outside of ourselves to make a real difference. It is never just about you.
Leaders cannot be low energy people – it is that simple. When you walk into a room the energy level should automatically pick-up. When you meet someone who is low energy your own positive energy should be infectious. Success at anything requires thoughtful action. You need to focus like a laser beam and plough forward despite the inevitable obstacles and distractions. When other people are saying “no” or this is too hard, you have to be able to say “yes” and encourage them on anyway. As with everything you need to lead by example.
It all starts at the top. Whether you are a politician, government official, leading hedge fund executive, Wall Street banker, corporate CEO, small business owner, college president, sports coach, professional athlete, teacher, parent, etc., your actions do matter! Strong Ethics aren’t a luxury but a requirement of any well run business, organization, community, classroom and family. Behaviors do ultimately have consequences. And, even though you may win in the short term by always putting your needs first, not playing by the rules or stretching the boundaries of what’s acceptable, ultimately it will catch up with you and sadly have adverse consequences for others in your life.
Sometimes in the smallest ways we impact other people. Less frequently but more powerfully are those actions that over time have a significant impact on others.
A common thread through most generally accepted philosophies of life and/or spiritual belief systems is the concept of happiness being directly related to our impact on others not just how they effect us. We need to embrace that fact that we coexist with other human beings and make choices each and every day about how we want these interactions to go.