Dale Carnegie once wrote: “You will accomplish more in the next two months developing a sincere interest in two people than you will ever accomplish in the next two years trying to get two people interested in you.” Sage advice for a leader.
There is an old theory in leadership that it is lonely at the top. While this can be true for a leader, it doesn’t have to be. Loneliness is a choice. If you want to have a friend, be a friend.
The greatest leaders are the ones who are more committed to serving others than they are to being served.
If you really want to be loved as leader began to love others. This might feel hard at first because it is more natural to think of ourselves first. However, putting others first is the best thing a leader can do. Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
If you need to grow in this area (and who doesn’t), start with these three areas of interest.
1. Family. Ask the person about their family life. Everyone likes to talk about their family. Learn the names and ages of their kids and what they enjoy doing. Remembering a birthday or showing up for a kids game or performance will speak volumes.
2. Free time. Find out what the person enjoys doing in their free time and attempt to bring it up in your conversations. People like to talk about their hobbies. You don’t need to become an expert in these areas, but you should be able to intelligently discuss their interests.
3. Frustrations. Listen for clues as to what the person is struggling with. It can be at work or even at home. People like to share their problems with someone who shows genuine concern. Become a good listener and your influence will rise.
Why not take the next two months and find a couple of people to whom you can show interest. You will accomplish more if you do, and you might even find that they will become more interested in you.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.