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Seek Value before adding value

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So often leaders are pumped by all the admiration, by the platitudes and “yes ma’am, yes sir” easy-to-please attitudes that they redirect expectations and orders with an unintentional arrogance.

What do I mean by this? Often people with albeit good intentions, rush into solve an issue or strategize for a challenge, assuming their answers are right, and that they bring the highest value. And they do this BEFORE finding value in others’ perspectives that they can build upon.

Even as this sounds obvious as something YOU would NOT do, chances are that at some point you have been guilty of this. Most of us have been. Some of it stems from a culture that says, “Never give up!” “You can do it!” “Believe in yourself!” Can you see the theme?

In a valiant effort to create high self-esteem, consultants, authors, teachers, therapists, gurus, motivational speakers and even coaches like myself have emphasized a self-important, self-indulgent perspective. Sure this is needed - but not all the time.

So how do we avoid this self-centered approach and still bring value?
Examining John Maxwell’s quote is a great place to start.
“To add value to others, one must first value others.” He says.

Each time you feel you could do better (and maybe you can) first look at the situation and the people in the situation and ask yourself, “What is working here? What HAS worked before? What does she or he bring to this? How can I leverage his or her potential?”

With this attitude you DO and WILL bring value; a collaborative benefit. This engages those in the midst of the challenge – acknowledges them. It becomes a full-circle response because as they feel validated – they become more open to you, your ideas and your value. From there solid and sustainable solutions develop.

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