One of the qualities in a leader that people crave is selflessness.
It’s hard to be a leader and be selfless. Let’s face it, people hang on your every word, and you are the center of attention.
But when a leader puts their attention on another—team member or customer or random person—it is a sign of a selfless servant leader.
Here are the signs: do you stop, look them in the eye and follow their conversation or do your eyes wonder, exhibit a sign of restlessness, and ask things like, “what was that again?”
The former is the sign of a selfless leader, the ladder, a self-focused leader.
Another sign of selflessness on the part of a leader is that of giving of their time. Time is one of the most precious commodities we have. For all of us time is limited, it is fixed, and leaders often see their time evaporate quickly. So, when a leader gives his or her time to another person on their team it catches their attention.
The more people in your organization, the more difficult it is. Leaders have to contend with meetings, phone calls, email follow ups, updates, research, etc. So, when do they have time to squeeze in someone outside of their immediate executive path? Conversely, if the only people they are listening to or spending time with is their management team they may be missing something.
My advice is to block out a period of time every day to spend time with people outside your immediate circle. It could be spent on the phone, stopping by their workstation, going to lunch, or today, having a zoom conversation. The core of the conversation should be the person—who they are, what their life looks like, their needs and concerns.
Two simple acts of selflessness, having focused attention to the people you talk with and spending time with those outside your circle will go a long way to helping us all be servant leaders.