Today’s blog post is an excerpt from The Maxwell Daily Reader. I loved compiling this book, with the goal of offering the reader one leadership principle per day for an entire year. Each one-page entry is drawn from one of my earlier (pre-2007) books, and is designed to be put into practice right after reading.
An added bonus: Besides providing a wide variety of leadership lessons, The Maxwell Daily Reader offers a good survey of my writing up until 2007.
What follows is the entry for today’s date: August 21.
Put Others First in Your Thinking
When you meet people, is your first thought about what they’ll think of you or how you can make them feel more comfortable? At work, do you try to make your coworkers or employees look good, or are you more concerned about making sure that you receive your share of the credit? When you interact with family members, whose best interests do you have in mind? Your answers show where your heart is. To add value to others, you need to start putting others ahead of yourself in your mind and heart. If you can do it there, you will be able to put them first in your actions.
But how can anyone add value to others if he doesn’t know what they care about? Listen to people. Ask them what matters to them. And observe them. If you can discover how people spend their time and money, you’ll know what they value.
Once you know what matters to them, do your best to meet their needs with excellence and generosity. Offer your best with no thought toward what you might receive in return. President Calvin Coolidge believed that “no enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.”
(from Failing Forward)
Put others ahead of you in your mind and heart today.