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Are You Driven to Serve? Why It Can Make You a Better Leader
By adopting a mindset of duty, you can elevate your leadership while improving your leadership skills. A sense of duty to a higher cause can expand your self-awareness, making you an intelligent and effective leader.
“The best way o find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
Popular culture insists on presenting leadership as a position of authority over others that lends itself well to the pursuit of selfish interests. Unfortunately, as I have pointed out in my book The Intelligent Leader, entitlement mentality is not a scarce commodity among today’s executives.
Too many leaders feel that the privileges their forebears earned them are their rights. Many expect to be rewarded just for showing up. From the perspective of intelligent leadership, such a mentality is a dead-end street.
The intelligent leader is a servant-leader. Such leaders are servants first and above everything else. They aspire to empower others, and through this journey, they find themselves positioned to lead. Leadership only has a worthy purpose when it aims to serve a higher goal, a larger community.
Without such purpose, leadership ambitions and abilities fueled by petty, short-term personal gain fizzle out quickly.
The Concept of Privileged Duty
In my books and posts, I have often brought up the concept of privileged duty. This concept describes the ideal mental state of the intelligent leader beautifully because it encompasses individual empowerment, a sense of interconnectedness, and commitment to a higher cause.
The privilege of leadership stems from the individual empowerment of the leader. The sense of interconnectedness and the commitment to a higher cause result from a healthy leadership mindset.
The Mindset of Duty vs the Mindset of Entitlement
The problem with entitlement is that is it deeply engrained in mindset. In my leadership development works, I have defined mindset as the consistent perspective from which you see yourself and the world around you. Let me expand on that definition.
In addition to that all-defining perspective, your mindset is also the foundation of your behavior. Your inner-core values and beliefs shape your mindset constantly. Thus, to change your mindset, you need to start with your innermost core. This is where a leadership development professional can help.
Why the Best Leaders Feel Duty to Community
You don’t have to be a community-focused leader with a strong mindset of duty to be successful. Many successful leaders readily admit that their primary drivers are power, fame, and wealth.
Truly great leaders, on the other hand, recognize these goals for what they are: mere tools to effect a lasting positive impact on the people around them. Attaining personal fulfillment is a worthwhile goal, but it can’t hold a candle to exerting lasting impact upon communities, perhaps on a global scale.
By helping others, we help ourselves.
Intelligent leaders inspire and empower others, uplift them, and help them achieve feats they wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise. Their legacy is etched into the collective memories of entire communities and is thus often immortalized.
Community-oriented Leadership Will Make You a Better Leader
Serving a larger community is a fundamentally altruistic approach to leadership, but it doesn’t have to be solely about selflessness. Its positive repercussions are far-reaching, and its benefits are numerous.
Community engagement presents leaders with a new set of challenges, nudging them out of their comfort zones. By dealing with such challenges, leaders can fine-tune leadership abilities they may have never used before. Thus, one can become a better, well-rounded leader, capable of contemplating challenges from a wide range of diverse perspectives.
Exercising leadership from a position of privileged duty can help leaders:
- Become better problem-solvers
- Set positive examples
- Build range capability-wise
- Work on their creativity, empathy, and growth mindset
- Gain a better understanding of motivation
- Improve their self-awareness
Focusing on your sense of duty to a community will expand your awareness, allowing you to place your leadership into a broader context. Your reports will recognize your authenticity, and they will regard you as “the real deal.”
Interested in learning more about leadership development? Read my books and follow my blog.