Does it all add up? (The Law of Addition)

“Leaders add value by serving others.” – John Maxwell

How would you respond to the question “Why is it important to be a leader?”  Many people view leadership the same way they view success. We want to go as far as we can, climbing the corporate ladder, trying to achieve the highest position possible in the business we work in.

“The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives.” – Jim Sinegal, CEO Costco

There are many responsibilities of a leader; encouragement, direction, vision and communication to name a few but ask yourself this question – Am I making things better for the people who follow me?  The Law of Addition, when implemented, will allow your people to achieve more, become more loyal, and will allow them to be more successful at getting things done than they ever thought possible.

Consider it this way; you as a leader have a specific set of goals, either personally or professionally. Likewise, those that follow you have their own set of goals. When we combine efforts to help each other reach our goals, not only do we achieve them quicker but the compound effect of collaboration will generally result in achieving things that were not even part of the original picture.  As a leader, we need to be willing to invest in others to help them achieve their goals.

If you first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” – Zig Zigler

By helping others develop the skills needed for advancement and fulfillment, we not only help them to better themselves, but increase the strength of the circle around us. Look at any successful person and you will most likely find a strong support staff around them.

So what is it that we need to do to add value to others in their desire to achieve more? I would suggest that we need to shift the focus off ourselves and onto our team members. This may not be easy or comfortable at first, but when we see the results of our influence on those around us and feel the effect of their improvements in self-confidence, competence and desire to improve themselves, we are developing a leader for the future and we are moving closer to our goals

“When you help others climb a hill, you will get closer to the top yourself.” – General Norman Schwarzkopf 

H5H Action Step:

  • This week, take the time to look deep inside and answer the following questions…and then begin the journey of using The Law of Addition to change the answers.
    1. Do I add value to others by sharing my knowledge, skill, and experience?
    1. Since I’ve been leading my team, are things better or worse for them?
    2. Are my people better off because I’m their leader?
    3. Am I taking others to a higher level?
    4. Do I exemplify one of the H5H values to “Serve others well”?

It isn’t how far we advance ourselves, but how far we advance others that matters. You are either adding or subtracting value.   If you’re adding value it’s intentional; but if you are subtracting value it’s likely unintentional. Your goal as a leader should not be to get people to help you, but to help others.

Lead The Way!