Discover the Power of Selfless Leadership

The best leaders know that their achievement does not depend on someone else’s failure. Success is not a zero-sum game. There is more than enough to go around.

Not every leader knows that, however. Some are convinced that every advantage they gain must come at someone else’s expense. Intimidation, manipulation, withholding information: these are the sure signs of a small-minded leader—usually with a very large ego.

No team will follow a selfish leader for long. The team may establish a good work regimen and perform well, but unless the members respect their leader, it will not excel.

Sadly, people are seldom aware of their own selfishness. You could be trapped in behaviors that undercut your ability to lead—without realizing it. Here are four leadership errors that result from over-focus on self. See if any sound familiar.

Mistake 1: Insisting on Getting Credit for What You Do

The best leaders don’t care who gets the credit as long as the job gets done. If you find yourself thinking, “Hey, that was my idea,” you could be stuck in a scarcity mind-set. Break that by celebrating the achievements of others—even when you’re partly responsible for them.

Mistake 2: Putting Personal Agenda before Mission.

This is closely related to mistake number one; both stem from a desire for self-advancement. If you pick projects or allocate resources based on how it will affect your career, you may be stuck in this trap. Break free by keeping the mission, vision, and objectives of the organization paramount.

Mistake 3: Holding a Grudge

Small minded people hold grudges; big people forgive and forget. If you find yourself nursing insults and look for opportunities to even the score, you’re undercutting your ability to lead. Fix that by rising above small insults. Earn respect, but never demand it.

Mistake 4: Being Jealous of the Achievements of Others

Selfish leaders are jealous of the achievements of others because they believe another’s success must indicate their failure. Excellent leaders realize that they themselves can never accomplish all they dream; others must help carry out the vision. So they invest in others, encourage them, train them, and enable them to succeed. The best leaders realize that there’s plenty of success to go around, and they help those around them succeed.

Enjoying great success does not depend on having a big ego. In fact, the opposite is almost always true. Those who think the most of themselves are usually respected little by others. Great leaders are humble, self-less, and put others ahead of themselves.

Does that describe you?

How have you learned to put others first in your organization? Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook!