Leadership Information

Develop a We Focus And Not a Me Focus


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"There's only one thing more contagious than a good attitude - and that's a bad attitude?Most bad attitudes are the result of selfishness." -John Maxwell - The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork

"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." - Benjamin Franklin

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Great leaders know how to focus on the team ahead of themselves. They do this by developing a "We" focus.

Consider an exercise I often run with seminar participants. I call it the Best/Worst Supervisor exercise.

I'm going to ask you to reflect on two specific supervisor-employee relationships you have experienced from the employee side. As you read the rest of this article, stop for a moment and carefully think about these relationships with your supervisors - either past or present.

Relationship Number 1:

Think about the person you worked for that you would be willing to help anytime. Someone who you would willingly come in early, stay late, or work through lunch for just because they asked. The key phrase is, "just because they asked." The person we are considering got extra effort from you because of who they were and not from the position of authority they held over you.

You might write down the answers to the following questions as you reflect on this experience:

- What specifically did they do?

- How did they behave towards you and others to create this feeling in you?

- How much fear did you feel associated with working for them?

- Did you feel controlled or influenced by them? In other words, did they have an indirect effect on your behavior, or did they directly regulate your behavior?

My personal experience, verified by discussions with thousands of business people across the country, is that most people report a positive, influence type relationship with this person.

We'll call this person the Best Supervisor.

Relationship Number 2:

Now, think about a supervisor you hated to do anything for. The supervisor who kept checking your progress, criticizing your work, and threatening to punish you in some way if you didn't perform to standard.

Now, reconsider these questions with regard to this person.

- What specifically did they do?

- How did they behave towards you and others to create this feeling in you?

- How much fear did you feel associated with working for them?

- Did you feel controlled or influenced by them? In other words, did they have an indirect effect on your behavior, or did they directly regulate your behavior?

We'll call this person the Worst Supervisor.

Most people say that the Best Supervisor got more voluntary effort and better long-term performance and relationship results from their team. I have yet to meet the person who says the Worst Supervisor got great performance from their team.

Now consider this question for a moment: Who do you think these two people thought/think about first? Most people say that the Best Supervisor tends to keep their focus on others. Most people also say that the Worst Supervisor tends to think only of themselves and their interests.

The question for leaders becomes - How do I want the people on my team to view me?

The answer lies in how we, the leaders, think.

Our thoughts become words or actions that influence the behavior of the people around us. When I focus on my personal desires, I act in selfish ways. When I act in selfish ways, I inspire mediocre performance in my team. When I focus on the team, I act in the team's best interest. When I act in the team's best interest, I inspire high-level performance in my team.

As I close this article, my mind is racing with possible questions and qualifying statements. Due to space and time constraints, I haven't even begun to address some of the issues that come to mind:

- How does this apply to team members who don't want to play nice?

- How do you preserve the integrity of your vision while working with people who see things differently? etc.

These issues are too big to consider all at once. I'll address these related issues at a different time.

So for now, I encourage you to remember this one tip . . .

Develop a "we" focus and not a "me" focus.

Copyright 2005, Guy Harris

You may use this article for electronic distribution if you will include all contact information with live links back to the author. Notification of use is not required, but I would appreciate it. Please contact the author prior to use in printed media.

About the Author:

Guy Harris is the Chief Relationship Officer with Principle Driven Consulting. He helps entrepreneurs, business managers, and other organizational leaders build trust, reduce conflict, and improve team performance. Learn more at http://www.principledriven.com

Guy co-authored "The Behavior Bucks System TM" to help parents reduce stress and conflict with their children. Learn more about this book at http://www.behaviorbucks.com


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04/20/2021 11:32 AM
What We Should Expect From The RIGHT Leader?
A reality of leadership is, some individuals, will, merely, hold some position, others will perform some of the duties and responsibilities, and the RIGHT leaders will develop, and utilize, all the essential skills, acquire the knowledge and expertise, and be ready, willing, and able, to perceive and conceive of options and alternatives, have the self - confidence to fully consider, and use these abilities, in order to be the type of leader, organizations need, deserve, and should desire! In my, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly every aspect related to leading, I have come to strongly believe, unless/ until, groups commit...
04/19/2021 01:00 PM
Leadership Skills to Regain Trust
Cultivating trust is a key leadership skill. But what happens when we lose trust? Specifically, when we make a mistake, a big one, and people lose trust in us? Here are three skills to deploy.
04/19/2021 12:59 PM
5 Key Steps For Unifying Leadership
How can anyone consider himself, a true leader, unless/ until, he prioritizes, unifying his group, and bringing people together, for the greater good, rather than, resorting to, polarization, and dividing people, by their rhetoric, and actions (or lack of)? After, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly, every aspect, related to leading, effectively, from identifying and qualifying, to training, developing, and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or, potential leaders, as well as personally, serving as a leader (on several occasions), I have come to strongly believe, organizations need to prioritize, training potential leaders, to be prepared, to unify constituents,...
04/19/2021 12:57 PM
Have You Considered Your FITNESS To Lead?
Every year, thousands of individuals, either, are elected, selected, and/ or, ascend to some position of leadership, but, few of them, seem, to make any significant difference, for the better! After, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly, every aspect, related to leading, I have come to, strongly believe, the obstacles, and challenges, are related to, their actual, FITNESS, to lead. The current dearth of meaningful leadership, seems, directly related to the lack of well - designed, and considered, customized, leadership training programs, so a specific organization, maximizes its potential, to be led, by individuals, fit, to lead!
04/19/2021 12:56 PM
Choosing And Using The 6 W's For Leading!
Doesn't it seem, some things don't change, often because individuals continuing doing the same - old, same - old, when doing so, often, translates to, less - than - stellar, results? After, over four decades of personal involvement, in nearly, everything, involved in leadership, from identifying and qualifying, to, training, developing and consulting to, thousands of actual, and/ or, potential leaders, as well as personally, serving as a leader, on a variety of occasions, I have come, to strongly, believe, the so - called, missing link, may be, being, ready, willing, prepared, properly trained, and able, to choose, and effectively,...
04/19/2021 12:55 PM
5 Things Which Become Viable When Leaders Make Quality, Timely Decisions!
One of the key reasons, so few individuals, who, either, are elected, selected, and/ or, ascend to positions of leadership, become quality, viable, meaningful, relevant, effective leaders, is, they lack, either the will, skill, or knowledge, to make well - considered, decisions, in a timely manner! After, over four decades, of personal involvement, in nearly, everything related to, and/ or, involved in leading, I believe, it is essential, for organizations, to create, and consistently, use, and take advantage of, professionally designed, created, and customized (to the specific group), leadership training programs, and, these must include, meaningful information, etc, about, not...


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