Why Are You Here?

A “nothing new” approach to leadership…

I have been in leadership now for about 7 years. In my short time, I have learned a lot and my experiences have been unique. One thing I know now is that leadership can be tricky. Personally, I think it is a lot like sports because you need to be motivated to play. A huge part of that motivation is knowing your why. Why is leadership your choice and why is it important to you?

Daniel H. Pink put it perfectly in his book DRIVE: The surprising truth about what motivates us. He says, “The most deeply motivated people – not to mention those most productive and satisfied – hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves”. In life, we need to have a purpose. We need to know why we are here and how we make an impact on the lives of those around us. No salary can take the place of Irrelevance. Just ask Patrick Lencioni.

Have you run into a leader of an organization and had them tell you that they do not like people? Well I have. This was by far the most shocking discovery through my years of leadership in corporate America. There were really individuals out there in charge of leading people that didn’t like people. This is an oxymoron, I thought. Leader plus not liking people are just as far apart from one another as the east is from the west. You must care about people to be a leader of people. My personal goal is to help those I lead develop a sense of pride in their work. I try and find what motivates them early on. I then attempt to help them tie that motivation into the job we do daily. I desire to help them see how what they do effects those around them as well as those they love. This task isn’t easy and I have failed at it plenty over the course of my career. I also learned that failure is good…

My failure led me to a question. Why am I here? I wasn’t sure anymore what my motivation was. Before, I felt a huge sense of pride in simply being a good leader to those I was appointed to manage. This was more of a personal thing because I had encountered few bad leaders. The aha moment for me was when I found more success. I realized that my real passion was watching those who I led grow. It was the most exciting and fulfilling emotion. I was really making a difference. I suddenly knew my why. I am here to help those around me to be better. I am here to learn from those around me so that I can be better. I am here to help others grow and to grow with them. So, I leave you with one question. Why are you here?

If you want your leadership to be effective then know your why.

I’m just saying…

10 thoughts on “Why Are You Here?”

  1. After being a leader for some years, coming into contact with some great people, I lost my why. I had lead some people to moves in there careers that made them happy and me proud. Then it became difficult, more challenging to motivate my team, it made it really hard to be a leader. It’s been about 5 years since I stepped away from the leadership role and I am very happy, I believe I am a helper. I believe once a leader always a leader, that is something I live by. On a team or in a family your actions are what define you. Going above and beyond what is expected is my choice, making someone’s day a little easier. In this day and age this is not the norm anymore people barely do the minimum in anything. I hope this makes sense.

    1. It totally makes sense. I must say that your experience seems to have given you a great insight. I would love for you to share more if you are up for it. Maybe we can feature you on an article or post G. Let me know.

      1. Thank you and yes I always enjoy speaking with you and our conversations so I am open for sure.

  2. Why I’m I here..? For years I absolutely no answer for that question. Then one day at Bible study we was discussing the many gifts that God graciously instills in every individual, I begun to ask God to reveal to me any gift that he had blessed me with. My life before had been one failure after another, to the point were I thought God had given out gifts to the whole world except me. Eventually God raised me up in church to be part of the pastoral team, and from there a mentor to those who has a desire to grow spiritually. So being gifted to encourage, motivate, and to make a different in the life of another,is beyond a doubt God sent. So to all the gifted leaders of today, I commend you, and say be true to your calling, and remember that a good leader is one who knows how to follow well.

    1. Awesome comment from a very wise man! I could not have put it better at all. “A good leader is one who knows how to follow well”. Such a simple concept that I feel we miss so often. Every great man in biblical times and in this life had or has a mentor. This is definitely a discussion for a new post. Thanks for the idea and most of all thanks for sharing.

  3. I had a part of this same conversation during clinical consultation with a friend and colleague. A manager that she works with has a hard time working with her team and it really does seem to boil down too her dislike of working with people in general. It’s definitely an oxymoron in the world of therapy but I try to give her the benefit of the doubt by thinking that she is likely better working with clients than managing a team. I completely agree that being in leadership demands a strong ability to build relationships; a good leader that is called to the work should always be about other people. What really resonated with me most is the idea that a a strong leader, someone who knows what their purpose truly is, is most interested in growing people. When I think about my role in any position, I know that I am interested in being there to bring people along. I want them to feel fulfilled professionally so that they are personally invested in themselves and their chosen path.

    1. E. Calbow,

      You make a very good point when you say that you felt the manager may have been better working with clients than with a team. A good leader will help people find that path like you mentioned. They will guide their people through a process of finding and refining their own strengths so that they grow into their niche. You have an amazing perspective and I would love to collaborate on an article with you. Let me know.

      Don Gray Jr.

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