Turn ME Upside Down − Key to Success in Leadership
About 35-40 times each year, I have the privilege of being the opening or closing keynote speaker at conferences across the United States. Recently I spoke at a leadership conference where the theme was: Turn ME Upside Down! The idea was, as leaders, one of our main roles is to turn "ME" into "WE."
Initially, I thought the theme sounded a bit cheesy. But the more I worked with the Meeting Professionals planning this event, the more I realized how wrong I was. Leadership is all about making decisions. WE Leaders focus on decisions that benefit the organization, which helps build momentum, enthusiasm, and buy-in among team members. Decisions made by ME Leaders, on the other hand, do the exact opposite. They dampen momentum and buy-in.
Avoid These 3 "ME" Traps
Digging a bit deeper, three decisions that cause leaders to develop a "ME" mentality instead of a "WE" mindset are:
1) Making decisions that are more beneficial for the leader than the organization.
With this approach, a leader will soon run out of people to lead. The reason? People don't follow selfish leaders. By definition, excellent leadership requires leaders who pursue what is best for the organization and the people they lead. In other words, excellent leadership requires WE Leadership.
2) Making decisions on his or her own.
The success of an organization is dependent on the buy-in of its team members, yet team members won't buy in if the leader makes decisions in isolation. Instead of trying to figure out everything on their own, WE Leaders recognize the wealth of ideas and insights of their team members, and they look for ways to tap into the collective genius of the team.
3) Making decisions believing there is only one way to do things.
Similar to the trap above, a ME Leader thinks his or her way of doing things is the only way to do things. As with the other two traps, when a leader takes this approach, most team members won't stick around for too long. And the ones who do stick around will operate more like automated robots than gifted individuals. WE Leaders, on the other hand, realize that each team member brings a wealth of talent to the workplace, and part of that talent includes new and better ways of doing things.
The three ME Leadership traps above dampen momentum, enthusiasm, and buy-in from team members. Don't fall for them! Instead, focus on making "WE" decisions that empower your team and are in the best interest of your organization.
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