How Invested Are You?
Change is hard. We know this and especially if you are a change leader or lean leader driving new thinking and ideas into action, the challenges and hurdles can be ever present. It’s hard in life too. Becky Pippert wrote a great book “Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World”, and in it she talks about change and how we are all like the “salt” in the shakers. We don’t like to be shook out of it and into the world, but rather we like the comfort from being inside the shaker with the other salt that’s just like us. Are you like the salt in the shaker? Do you seek the comfort of the shaker and the other salt?
Some recent reflection had me thinking about not only the salt and the shaker but also how invested how I was in what I am doing to lead and also tp help others grow and develop. It’s hard work to be a selfless leader, despite what anyone tells you. If someone says it’s easy, run, because they likely haven’t come close to it. The fact is we are all born into this world alone and selfish in nature. We are then raised and influenced to try to make us “less selfish” but it’s a difficult mission for most. A recent sermon really hammered this home for me when the pastor inferred, that “we will eat and devour each other in order to get ahead” in today’s society. In many ways, it’s hard to disagree whether in life, work, or even sports.
Being selfless means caring about others and helping them before yourself. We all care about ourselves, if anything before ourselves, maybe our family and loved ones, but to care and show love for a team member or even a peer in the workplace? It’s hard. But that’s where real love comes in strong, as it builds up (us and others) in a world where we tend to focus more on breaking things down. We like to seem to find faults in others, degrade others, or info problems rather than solutions. The fact is you can’t retreat to those things as a selfless leader, but rather find ways to help others and do so in a genuine way. That’s the real servant leadership we seek.
Love and caring are all about forgiving when someone disappoints you or wrongs you. It’s about abandoning bitterness when we feel we have been wronged, as bitterness is an evil way to feel good about thinking or acting bad. To be a real leader, you have to care for the people you lead or engage with. And this takes a degree of love, not the same love you have for you family maybe, but a genuine care for their well being and success. But progress is taking the first step, you have to engage with people, you have to reach out to them and connect. It’s a virtuous circle and how invested are you in making it work?
As a change leader, we have to get out of shaker into uncomfortable situations. We have to exhibit the selfless characteristics of leadership to engage with others, show we care, and really build connections on a deeper level. We have to leave our selfish ways behind or at least put them on the sideline so they don’t interfere. We have to forgive people, avoid bitterness or vengeful thinking, and instead carry on positive thinking to others.
The salt can stay in the shaker forever and be comfortable. Or it can venture out to the unknown or discomfort, to fulfill a purpose. Are you going to stay in your shaker? Or are you going to get out there to engage and practice selfless leadership? The question is about how invested you are in being the best change focused leader you can be. Get out of the shaker.