I was talking with the CEO of an international corporation. She leads an organization that consists of a very large number of employees.
As I talked with her, I listened to her passion; I witnessed her intense desire to grow and her unyielding demand for excellence. While these are all admirable traits, they can be found in many successful executives. What made an impact on me was the reason for her passion, desire for growth, and demand for excellence…
She said, "You know, I feel an incredible responsibility for our employees. We have been here for these families for many years, and I know that the success and health of our organization means the success and sustainability of the families who make up this company. They are the reason that we have a wonderful history." She continued, "I take my responsibility to serve them very seriously."
This leader has made choices, sacrifices, and life decisions around her unrelenting commitment to serve those who are within her circle of influence. Someone once said that the more responsibility we have in leadership, the fewer rights we have for personal gratification. We don't have to look far in today's culture to see leaders who are about control and power. They simply lead for their own selfish desires.
No matter how large or small the circle of influence, it is our responsibility to lead with an unselfish desire for each person to succeed. When we realize, like my above-mentioned friend, that there is a cost to authentic leadership, we will make a difference!