Have you ever benefited from someone’s contribution toward you? We all have experiences where someone has helped us be better at who we are or what we do. In my case, there are several individuals over my career who have helped me believe in myself. Later in life, I’ve had the fortune of working with my good friends Ken Blanchard, Stephen M.R. Covey, John Maxwell, Ron Jensen, and Werner Jacobsen. Each has mentored me and compelled me to improve as an individual and as a leader. A leader who consistently adds value to others is a leader who has a mindset of thinking about and investing time in others, who listens to and empathizes with those they influence, and who helps them improve in both their individual and teamwork. This type of leader looks for win-win situations for everyone: the individual, the team, and the organization.
As servant leaders, we inspire and equip those we influence, and that includes everyone around us. The best way to influence others is to provide help and assistance on a consistent basis. Once people know you care about them—genuinely, from the heart—they will respond in ways that will amaze you. Leaders can set audacious goals, but they can only reach those goals as long as they invest in their people and help them succeed. When people are succeeding, the organization is succeeding.
One of the best ways to add value to people in your organization is to help them
use the knowledge they have.
We all have knowledge inside of us, and most of us would like to put that knowledge to use for the good of the organization we work for. Others throughout our organization feel the same way. They are waiting for leaders to use the knowledge they have for the good of the organization.
Another way to add value within the organization is to communicate and share information with everyone. Be truthful about where you are in the business, and that includes the successes you’re having as well as the struggles you may be going through. It’s easy for leaders to share and add value when everything’s going great. But when you’re struggling, it’s very difficult to comfortably share that information. It’s important to be positive about where you are as a company, but don’t try to spin the story or add anything extra to make it look better.
Investing in the education of your people is another excellent way to add value to them. That’s a value they can take with them for the rest of their lives. Adding
value to others by investing your time and money shows you really care about them. We also invest our time in mentoring and coaching. I believe one of the best ways to add value is to help your people learn from their mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. When that happens, don’t reach into your toolbox and bring out your hammer; instead, bring your heart out of your toolbox and help that person learn from his or her mistake. Ken Blanchard taught me to never punish a learner. Let mistakes become teachable moments.
Think about who adds value to your life. And more importantly, how do you add value to others? Besides the ones I’ve already listed, there are many ways we can
add value. Here are a few examples: Create something someone can use; inspire and equip someone to take action; extend a helping hand; teach someone to do something, show them a better way, or provide a new perspective; listen in a time of need; or just be there for someone when they need it—extend grace, show them your heart, or serve them before yourself.
How will you add value to others in your life—your spouse, your children, your co- workers, and others you influence? How will you add value to those less fortunate than you in our society? Only you can answer those questions.