The Lakota tribe of Native Americans has no word in the language for "I" or "me," only "we" or "us." Mahatma Gandhi insisted on traveling in third class carriages (on the train)because, as he explained, 'there is no fourth class.' "
Certainly personal desires are not a primary consideration for leaders. Quality leadership demands focus on the vision, the project, the operational need ... not on any personal need (other than perhaps the personal need to excel as a leader!).
This observation is closely allied to the need to harness the ego. The personal satisfaction will be achieved when the objective is met through quality leadership. Success on the financial, social need, employee contentment and even spiritual levels will follow automatically with such leadership.
Some years ago I counseled a business manager who was given to supervision through harping and unjust criticism of subordinates. I was unable to lull him away from the myopic profit motive that he might see the grandeur and increased profitability to be gained by compassion, complement and appreciation for, of and with employees. He was in denial of his rigidity.
When I confronted him with the quintessential evidence of my argument, he replied that each of the employees was untrustworthy, incompetent, unappreciative or unskilled. A rather stunning example of ego and dysfunctional management.
Leadership means giving service ... this notion of service is more a metaphysical consideration than an operational thought. It is true, of course, that the service ends up being of some practical value and achievement. But that is not the point of service. We are here by the grace of God, and we experience the joys of life, of being, of learning, of sharing with loved ones, of making the world a better place than we found it and of enjoying earthly pleasures . We are the beneficiaries of the new technologies ... all of these joys and wonderments are ours for the asking.
They are gifts, and, in return we are obligated to serve. Thus, by this continuous process of receiving and giving, the world is made a better place for all, not the least of which is the path we carve for our progeny. So "service" applies particularly at the "top," where it becomes the model ... when the leader serves, so will the others. And that aura will snowball into a productive euphoria, even in the mundane workplace.
Excerpts from a new book, "Looking for a Better World." Read more at:
Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.