It’s Not About Me.
Four simple words that will simplify your life, clear your mind and amplify your success.
Service Leadership asks us to understand and focus on the needs of those around us. To do that, we need a way to make sure that we can channel our energies so that we do not get lost or discounted through our service. Service Leadership demands dignity for everyone, starting with ourselves.
We have uncovered a simple tool that allows us to focus on the needs of others without feeling we are giving all our energy away. It allows us to stay present in conversations without feeling overwhelmed, support others through difficult times without being caught in negative spaces and inspire ourselves to do what is right. This tool is four simple words that will simplify your life, clear your mind and amplify your Service Leadership: It’s Not About Me.
Shared with me by my grandmother Elsie McBride when I was just a child, these are the most powerful, freeing and true words I have ever heard. Taking “me” out of just about every equation has had an amazing impact on my ability to serve my family, community and team at work. It has also been the best mental health advice I have ever received.
Here’s why: When we focus on the needs of others it is much easier to ignore that inner voice telling us we are not good enough. This external focus doesn’t let us get caught up with the day-to-day push back we get from so many corners of our world. The energy, mental and emotional freedom that comes from It’s Not About Me allows me to make it all about them, without losing myself in the process.
It’s Not About Me will…
Simplify Your Life
When it’s not about me, those small little things that rub you the wrong way and take over your energy and joy just don’t do that anymore. That car that cut you off on the way to work this morning? That’s not about me. That’s about someone who is worried about the repercussions of being late for work…again. The email from your colleague that has you wondering what you did to bug her? That’s not about me. That’s about a mom who is worried about a sick child and doesn’t have the time today for niceties. As a Service leader, I can’t and won’t let the stress or negative energy of others knock me off my course. I can sympathize with and support but I won’t let that energy consume my day. After all, I have serving to do!
Clear Your Mind
When it’s not about me and I am focused on meeting the needs of others, there is no room for that little voice inside my head telling me I am not good enough, constantly questioning my skills or no one cares. As a servant leader my time, energy and focus fill all the capacity in my head and there is very little room for doubt or that nagging voice. My energy isn’t being consumed by doubt: instead, it is being fueled by a sense of purpose and accomplishment. This is the real magic of Service Leadership: it is not only good for those we are serving but it is also the best way we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing.
Amplify Your Success
When it’s not about me and I am focused on the success of others, more good things start to happen in my life. Rather than just measuring my own success and accomplishment (which is important of course) I am motivated to see more success in those around me. Their success becomes my success! When I share support, encouragement and high expectations with others, I get that support, encouragement and high expectations back to the power of 10. My ultimate success as a leader is seeing others grow their own servant leadership skills. Encouraging others to make it ‘not about them’ is the successful transformation from being a leader to inspiring leadership in others.
The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people think more highly of themselves.
~J. Carla Nortcutt
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
~ Booker Washington
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
~ Jack Welch