A naïve leader sees their position as one of great privilege. They feel that their needs should come first.
Great leaders understand that they serve the people they lead. They understand that they are in a position of great sacrifice.
Last week, I created a big problem.
I accidentally allowed two insurance agents to put in dozens of hours of work to prepare bids with the same insurance carrier. The insurance industry works in an odd way. An insurance carrier will always give you the same quote no matter what agent you use to get that quote. So, you never should use two agents to get quotes from the same carrier. This just means one of them will put in dozens of hours of work for nothing.
Once we realized this error, the insurance agents were rightfully upset. One of them is going to lose out on a $100,000+ sale. The question is who should get that sale?
Emotions ran high. Both agents were adamant that the other shouldn’t get the sale.
I was in California for a conference. This was the last thing that I wanted to think about. Even though I made the mistake, I would have loved to just randomly pick one of them.
This was a key moment.
I believe it’s moments like this that separate great leaders from self-serving leaders. Do you sacrifice your own time and comfort to serve those you lead?
I wish I could say that I immediately wanted to help. But I didn’t. Despite how I felt, I still chose to help.
I spent hours on the phone.
Back and forth.
Trying to deeply understand the situation.
I dug in.
And with time, an answer started to emerge.
I then wrote a lengthy email to both agents detailing my decision and the clear reasoning for it.
Even though the losing agent wasn’t happy, he felt the decision was fair and well-reasoned. He had access to share with me all his thoughts about the situation. He felt heard.
That was the key.
I spent time dealing with the issues that these agents cared about.
Do you feel like the leaders in your life take the time to listen?
If you are in a leadership role, are you serving others or are you serving yourself?
To be a great leader, you must serve those who you lead.
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