Beyond You Leader

One thing that I do during holidays or breaks or vacation is do a bit of “virtual cleanup”. What I mean is that I’ll spend a non-trivial amount of time working through old files and folders and systematically deleting them, clearing up not just hard drive space but also mental and emotional waste as well.

I’ll find notes and text documents and an assortment of odds and ends… it’s amazing how quickly one can get cluttered in the digital age.

I don’t remember where I found these particular notes but it must have been during my time at North Point, more than 8 years ago. That seems like a long time but 8 years is also not a long time.

Time is seriously moving way too fast…

What is “A Beyond You” Leader?

Leaders who fearlessly and selflessly empower leaders around them as well as those coming along behind them.

A beyond you leader is one who understands that words weigh 1,000 pounds when they come from you and that sometimes those words can be too heavy to shoulder or carry. Be thoughtful with your words as if someone else will have to carry them for miles.

This is the type of leader that is situationally-aware at all times and can quickly realize when they may, in fact, be the most powerful person in the room. They know what to do and how to stay composed, knowing that their position and authority carries weight.

A beyond you leader understands that the value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away, not by how much they’ve acquired for themselves. Besides, we don’t celebrate accumulation at a funeral – we celebrate generosity and selflessness.

So how does one become a Beyond You Leader?

  1. Make as few decisions as possible. This empowers others. “You decide” is a powerful tool. Use it and and then support that decisions that are then made.
  2. As your organizational authority increases your organizational IQ decreases. More responsibility about more things means you know less and less about them. Do not confuse authority with competency.
  3. Work for your team: “How can I work for you?” Ask what you can do to help at all times. Your job is to remove blockers for your team, not to create them.
  4. Empty your cup, invest in others, now. Who are you bringing along with you?

If leadership isn’t all about you then it’ll live beyond you. If it doesn’t then you’ll live as a bad example of a leader who did things poorly. Remember, influence always starts with trust. That’s the question. Are you for them or against them?

Finally, remember to find time to connect with each of them because how they feel about what is being done is just as important as the work that is actually getting done. People want to be known and understood, just as you want to be known and understood.