Of all the pillars, this truly is the simplest and yet the most challenging, hence it is the final one in the series on effortless leadership that I have covered over the last 12 months. However, the challenge doesn’t come from the difficulty in applying it, instead, it is because this action is contrary to the “survival mode” that most of us operate in, and the beliefs that have put us in that state.
Working on the greater good means that instead of focusing all our actions and time on our own advancement, we should be also focusing on how our actions will improve the greater good. The greatest leaders and influencers that we think of all have contributed to the betterment of how humans think, act, feel and behave. They have improved or elevated us in some way or another and more importantly, they have changed what we thought was possible.
For example, we all identify Steve Jobs as a fantastic innovator of technology. He brought about the most elegant and sophisticated advancements in computer technology that we have seen in the last 30 years. And he made a fortune from it. However, the reason he was an immense success and amazing leader isn’t because of this ability to invent computers that look and work great. Instead, it was his passion and drive to help humans experience life in a way that is better. Now, there will be counter-argument here for how much better we have become as humans on the advent of the iPhone etc. However, the same could be said for cars, planes etc. Technology and advancement will always bring with it a perceived and real adverse effect. However, overall, it is my belief that the creations of Steve Jobs were always intended to make our life better, our experiences fuller and our abilities higher. And that’s what made Apple and its products such a success. Their WHY was always about understanding how they can make it better for the world.
And you can quickly see how most readers will then shrivel and think “I can’t do that!”. It seems like a HUGE task to compete with the likes of Steve Jobs on making the world a better place. However, working on the greater good isn’t always about making an immediate global impact. It’s about the attitude and focus on ensuring that everything you say and do (or don’t say and do), is for the betterment of yourself, your family, your business and your immediate community. That is enough.
Simply put, if everyone behaved and acted in a way that lifts the standards of their environment, it will lead to their community becoming better, which in turn means better cities, countries, and world. If instead, the attitude is “my actions make no difference”, then instead everything remains status quo, “not better”.
And here’s why this leads to effortless leadership. When your focus shifts to being the best you can for your community and beyond, then everything you do beneath that will succeed with relative ease. Why? Because the subconscious mind identifies with your beliefs and it gives you what you believe is possible. Therefore, when you start to believe that your actions can change the world, then you will start to attract higher and more meaningful results in every part of your life.
The magic here is shifting from the mindset of “I have to do what it takes to survive and make money” to “I have to do what it takes to build strong values, resourceful beliefs and better people”. Once you move from the view of just self, to also thinking more widely about others, you will attract higher calibre people into your life and business. And that too facilitates better results more easily.
Having said that, let’s explore some actions you can take to shift your beliefs and focus so that you can have a contribution-based ethic;
• Consistently review what you are valuing and what you are needing and ensure that you are coming from a place which is humble and fair
• Focus on having a state of empathy and compassion
• Every day, list what you are grateful for
• Find those in your community that have less than you, and give to them with your time and skills
• In your business, create a culture of contribution to community needs
• When creating services and products, think about how they can uniquely improve our quality of life
• Teach your kids this belief and focus from a young age
• Set aside time every week for “helping others”
• Learn to forgive and accept others
• Donate a fixed percentage of your “disposable income” to charity every year
• Become a member of charitable organisations such as Rotary Club or The Salvation Army
• Hold pro-bono seminars within your community where you can share your skills and knowledge
Now, please don’t feel that I am saying that we all need to be monks and saints. Nor am I saying that we have to live a minimalist life serving others only. As an example, Oprah Winfrey is an amazing human being that is highly focused on bettering all those around her. That focus is communicated in everything she says and does, including her contributions to charity and the greater good world-wide. However, she is always very well off and lives a life of luxury because she has balance.
And that’s the key to this pillar. In general, we are highly focused on self-gain and our own little bundle of tasks, issues, challenges etc. For some people, this is so much the case, that they suffer anxiety and depression. To contribute to the greater good, you just need to shift to a more balanced approach. Continue to focus on growing yourself, your wealth, your health and that of your family and business. However, it also includes a balanced approach to contributing and working on the greater good.
Once you include this approach to life and business, add that to the remaining pillars I have shared with you, you will truly experience effortless leadership. In that zone, my clients tell me that they always feel calm, focused and motivated. They have abundant creativity and energy. And they are able to connect deeply with those around them to create long-lasting friendships and teams.
I have enjoyed sharing these 10 pillars with you and going forward from here, I will be re-addressing these pillars each in more depth and holding workshops with you on how to achieve each one, a step at a time. So, look out for this in the months ahead in 2020. However, if you would like to work one-on-one or have me talk to your team to create an effortless success culture, then please get in touch for a complimentary discovery session.