Drive Success: Push Yourself Down
One of my favorite quotes is “It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” This quote has been attributed to Ronald Reagan and Harry S. Truman — both eminent leaders. A challenge for any CEO today is how to rebuild or drive more robust growth with existing teams and constrained resources. As a two-time CEO and lifetime marketer, I know this is a recurring challenge.
One of the best ways to get the maximum impact from your team is ensure that your leadership focus is on making everyone around you successful. As you drive the success of your organization or team, you leverage both the success of the business and importantly, the individuals. This may seem simplistic or even elementary but it is often lost in the executive suite to the pressures of daily reality. Some call it servant leadership, others humility, Jim Collins defined it as being a Level 5 leader. But if driving the success of others is so powerful, why is it so difficult and rarely practiced?
Two factors conspire to drive business leaders to rely on the “I’m in charge and will make it happen” mode of leadership. First, as successful executives, we believe we have risen to our levels of responsibilities due to our drive, skill, expertise and results. We did it — we made it happen. When pressured to deliver results in challenging markets and economies, the tendency is to rely upon what we perceive drove success in the past — ourselves. The second practical issue is the fact that working to make others successful can often feel like abdicating leadership. To ask others on your team “how can I be of help” or “what do you need to be successful” is a far cry from the traditional command and control mystique of a “leader.”
If you want to maximize the growth of your business, driving the success of your team will accomplish more than any individual heroic effort. As you help others around you become more successful, you will build a stronger, more competent and capable team. This will allow you to better retain your existing team and also attract new outstanding performers. What type of leader would attract you? One who drives via control or one who drives your success?
So, as a business leader, what are you doing today to drive the success of your team? When was the last time you genuinely asked “how can I be of help”? Depending on the state of your organization’s culture, it may take some time for people to accept and trust your help — but the growth dividends will come. Remember that “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment below or give me a call.
Brian Sholly, CMO Call or write me at 770.598.5445 or BSholly@ChiefOutsiders.com
A global leader with a strong growth record in software, technology, consumer products and start-up organizations, Brian Sholly is a strategic marketing consultant passionate about building businesses. Sholly has proven his ability to drive growth and profitability at companies such as Procter & Gamble, GTE (Verizon) and his own start-up business. We are thrilled to have Brian as a Chief Outsider, based on his outstanding interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, leadership, collaboration and ethics.
Chief Outsiders' blog is written by top CMOs and executive guests for CEOs looking for business growth strategies, current thinking on effective leadership skills, and ideas and insights from real-world marketing strategy implementation.