This week we are building on my biggest takeaways from the recent Leadercast conference. Last week I talked about the definition of Beyond You leadership that was given by pastor and leadership expert Andy Stanley. Just to refresh our memories, here is that definition again:
Beyond You Leader: Leaders who fearlessly and selflessly empower leaders around them, and those coming along behind them.
I know that I was very challenged by this definition. There’s a lot to live up to there. While I know that the majority of our discussion here is centered around the work place, I was particularly challenged by this for leading my family. As a husband to a beautiful wife of almost 5 years (my anniversary is this Friday and I couldn’t be more excited!) and father to 3 wonderful children (ages 4yrs, 3yrs, and 9 months), I am never more challenged to be a Beyond You leader when it comes to those 4 people. My challenge is never “why” I should be fearless or selfless when empowering my family, but it is “how” that is often at the center of my journey to lead them.
Sneak Peak: I will be doing a special leadership newsletter about/for men the week of Father’s Day that you will not want to miss!
So, during Andy’s presentation he gave 3 specific “hows” to become a Beyond You leader.
1. Make as Few Decisions as Possible
Key Phrase: “You decide.”
This definitely plays to the empowering portion of the definition. How can those leaders who report to you and are coming along behind you ever know what it feels like to decide unless they can make an actual decision?! As the leader, you should allow those who are closer to the “action” to make more decisions because they will, most likely, have a better understanding of the people that will be impacted by that decision. Andy explained this fact really well when he said this,
As your organizational authority increases, your organizational IQ decreases. Andy Stanley
2. Work For Your Team
Key Phrase: “What can I do to help?”
This will give you a huge leg up on leading selflessly! When you, the leader, are actually jumping into the work of your team and allowing them to tell you where they need help completing a project (most likely for you), you will earn their respect, their loyalty and, most importantly, their trust. You can really make this specific by asking for the top 2-3 things that they need your help on. Remember! We should be looking to leverage our influence for the good of those around us.
3. Empty Your Cup
Key Phrase: “Who can I invest in today?”
People, especially leaders who report to you or are coming along behind you, are rarely a bad investment. Something Andy said that really challenged my thinking was, “Don’t focus on filling up someone else’s cup, but on emptying your own cup.” How many times do we think “that person already knows what I know” or “I probably can’t teach them anything else”? I will challenge you to replace those thoughts with “how can I share my insight and experience with this person?” We were all created uniquely and bring something special that no one else can bring to the group that we lead.
I’ll finish with this… Do you want your leadership to stop when you die or do you want the impact of what you did on earth to extend well beyond your natural life? I would imagine, since you’re reading this, that you fall into the later category. This week’s issue has been about the “hows” of Beyond You leadership, so… do you want to know the secret to achieving the leadership legacy you want? Here it is:
If your leadership isn’t all about you, then it will live beyond you. Andy Stanley
Lead Your Home! Lead Your Work! Lead Your Life!
Podcast: The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
Amazon Author Page: Andy Stanley Page