I know what you are thinking. . .you have heard this argument before.
But what about in leadership? What came first? It’s such a common question, but one that leaders rarely ask themselves. Do you as a leader exist because of those you lead, or do those you lead exist because of you? As a business owner do customers exist because of your business, or does your business exist because of customers?
Some examples are very easily distinguished. For example:
What if a firefighter stated that fires existed because they were great at fighting fires?
What if a coach stated that he had players on his team because he/she was such a great student of the game?
What if a teacher stated that students existed because of the knowledge that he/she brings to the classroom?
In each of these examples you would quickly correct the person, or at least think they were out of focus. Obviously, a firefighter exists because of the demand to put out fires, a coach exists because of a demand for a leader of a group of athletes , and teachers exist because the school system is full of students and a demand needs filled for teachers.
The sad truth however is that many businesses and leaders start with the correct focus, however change the focus once they reach a level of success. In the beginning, business owners understand that their business was founded because a demand already existed from customers that they could fill. Leaders understand that they were hired because there was a need they could address within an organization. In both cases there was demand that needed filled prior to the existence of the business or the leader.
Pride is the enemy! The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” With success we allow pride to enter our lives and with pride the focus is no longer on the costumer or the individuals we were hired to lead. We start to believe that the customer exists because we are that good… We start to believe that those we lead exist because our leadership is that good…
Do not let pride put the focus on YOU! You exist, because prior to you there was a demand that needed to be met. Stay laser focused on that demand, and fight the urge to look inward and believe that you created the demand. Treat your clients, customers and teams with the value they deserve and your business and leadership are sure to reach new heights!