What is the Essence of Leadership at American Income Life?
What is THE ESSENCE of leadership?
To me, the most important essence of leadership is actually wanting to lead. If you are in a leadership role today, is it your true desire to lead? It must be for you to be effective. Assuming you want to lead here are some other key components to what I believe the essence of leadership is.
Fostering a Service Oriented Attitude. A heart and passion for serving others is the real lifeblood of American Income Life. Call it the “heart muscle” as everything flows from it and is nourished by it. And by the way, Customer Service is not a department – it is an attitude!
Simply LOVE What You Do! There is an old saying that goes something like, “many things will catch your eye but very few will catch your heart. Pursue those…” It is only work if you don’t love what you do.
Focus On the Big Stuff. Even the greatest leaders have a limited amount of emotional and physical energy. We must strive to identify and focus on the significant few issues rather than on the insignificant many. Majoring in minors and analysis paralysis are two habits to shy away from. While a lot is important, not everything is urgent.
Understand the Soft Stuff. Mary Kay Ash said, “There are two things more powerful than money and sex…recognition and praise.” Employee benefit consultants spent millions of dollars researching the minds of employees. What they have found out is that the most important factor for an employee (applies to independent contractors too) is feeling valued and appreciated. We dare not take this one for granted and just how simple and easy is it to do? Not to mention there is no cost involved.
Embrace Humor and Optimism. Laughing is healthy. Not taking ourselves too seriously is as well. We use less facial muscles to smile than frown. In the end it all works out well. If it is not working out well right now then you are not at the end. Helen Keller said, “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.”
Commit to Excellence. As a brand new head coach of the Packers, Vince Lombardi told his team that they were going to “passionately pursue perfection” knowing full well that while they would never achieve perfection they would have a shot at excellence. And, boy did they. And remember, excellence is not an act. It’s a habit. Think excellence. Be excellent!
And last, Earn Trust. Trusting relationships are central to what we do. We must commit to building relationships on trust, earning trust, fostering and protecting that trust. In this day and age, TRUST seems to be getting more uncommon and I sincerely believe people are starving for it. I see it in the faces of people we interview every week at American Income Life. Let’s have a storehouse of what people are starving for.
Stay Strong! Lead On!