The leader who imparts a sense of significance to his or her followers develops in them both individual and corporate loyalty. Their loyalty is marked by willingness and desire for personal change, even when it means pain or sacrifice. They become stayers not quitters, actively committed to the success and development of the organisation. Those with a hired hand mentality come and go – they're in it for the job, the promotion. There's nothing wrong with that. But there's a greater quality the leader must both impart to and extract from his followers – that of faithfulness.
As a leader you cannot overestimate the value of creating a sense of significance in your followers. Loyalty will follow an in turn produce corporate significance, teamwork and unity. It also becomes a springboard to further success.
Subordinates or supporters?
When signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin said “We must all hang together or else we shall hang separately”. Your team is not your subordinate, it is your supporter.
Niccolo Machiavelli once said: “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” When you give people a sense of significance, it not only lifts their spirits, it also resists against any sense of hierarchy.
If someone in an organisation or business feels they are a subordinate and consequently less than others, they will function at a lower level of worth. I encourage you to ensure those following you don't feel like subordinates or supporters.
You must encourage them to be supporters of the vision, supporters of leadership. Likewise, you must be a supporter of their dreams, inspirations and goals.
As a result, you will develop an organisation with a common purpose. That purpose is not only the success of the organisation but also the success of the individuals within that organisation, in all areas of life.
Significance builds teamwork
Growing a unified sense of purpose leaves no room for bitter rivalry among the team. Many of us have listened to the beautiful music of The Three Tenors. In an article published in Atlantic Monthly (November 1994) a journalist kept pressing the issue of competitiveness among Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti. Here's what Domingo said: “You can't be rivals when you're together making music; you have to put all your concentration into opening your heart to the music.”
The team must always be more important than my individual gratification. Henry Kissinger put it this way: “What's causing so much disharmony among nations is the fact that some want to beat the big drum, few are willing to face the music, and none will pay play second fiddle.
A faithful disposition in a leader, when imparted into a team, causes everyone to stay through thick and thin.
Leaders inspire teams to:
- Vision – see as a team
- Unity – stick like glue as a team
- Friendships – live as a team
- Purpose – aim as a team
- Celebration – win as a team
- Openness – communicate as a team
- Empathy – feel as a team
- Productivity – be effective as a team
- Encouragement – act as a team
Significance produces strength
People with a sense of significance do not operate from a position of weakness but from one of strength. their hearts are set on supporting and strengthening their leader. They are united in their commitment to a singular purpose. they give their best, not becausr the leader motivates them, but because they are inwardly motivated.
When people have a sense of significance, they add value to the leader by placing value in themselves. In this way organisations become strong and healthy, and followers grow into empowerment and fulfilment.
Significance engenders trust
It is amazing how leaders who inspire people to a purpose often reap purpose from them in return. Followers become encourages. Often when I have made an effort to inspire and encourage other leaders, to tell them how great they are and what an incredible job they're doing, they in turn seem to have just the right word to encourage me.
It is the very old principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow purpose and significance in people, you will reap a sense of purpose and significance. You are forming a bridge of relationship and trust which others will cross.
And on a final note for this blog post I would like to give you the 10 principles for developing trust:
- allow for diversity within units
- give responsibility and praise results
- express trust verbally and always be honest
- praise publicly, reprimand privately
- Let them go, let them grow, let them learn
- Allow expression of ideas and creative implementation
- Encourage initiative
- Set boundaries of responsibility, delegation and authority
- Never reprimand when a line has been clearly drawn
- Share the glory – don't hoard it
Until next time
Yours in prosperity