If you can end each day knowing you have added value to someone, then you can honestly say, you have had a successful day even if nothing else was accomplished. Success is within your reach each and every day if you do just this one thing. Success is a easy as giving it away to others.

I think Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.” What he meant by this is you will find your success when you treat other people well. In customer service this becomes visible in going above and beyond the expectations of the customer. But it also comes down to treating staff well, making sure their needs and expectations are met and their efforts are appreciated. They feel safe in the workplace because they know the leadership has their back and only wants the best for them.

This is where the culture of an organization really starts to show. Do they only pay lip service to putting people first or do they invest in the growth and development of their people so they can be the best at serving their customers? I saw a really great example of recently. Brighton Rogers, a Grade 3 student from St. Catharines, wanted to buy his younger sister a Disney Frozen Kid’s Recliner. A Leon’s manager caught wind of his wish and contacted his mother to arrange a job interview.  Brighton soon went to work and earned the chair in time for Christmas.

A lot of people think that to be successful you have to do a lot of things that may not sit well with your integrity. You have to put yourself first and above all others. That is how I was raised. The rich only got rich by stepping on others. Now I am not naïve enough to think that there is no one out there who has not been successful doing just that. In fact there are way too many who have and that has contributed to the sorry state we are in right now in our economy.

Greed led to the crash of the lending markets all over the world in 2008 and we have not completely recovered yet. Let’s just say that God has a sense of humour so he’s not done with them yet. In 2013, a fascinating study was performed by a nurse in a terminal palliative care unit. As she attended to her patients in their last days, she asked them what their biggest regrets were.  None of them said. ‘I wish I had made more money or spent more time at work.’

Great service comes from one on one contact with people not through systems that working efficiently. Leaders are more effective through serving their team than through efficiency. Leaders who know their team and the goals of each person, can put the organizational goals in terms of what success will look like for everyone. Bottom line is not how far we advance our own goals but how far we advance everyone together.

We can only add value to others when we can know and relate to what they value. When you have a conversation with the people in your life, do you stop and consider what is important to them? Do you ask what is going on in their life and how you could help? If you are important to me then what is important to you is important to me too. If my relationships are only based on my needs and my likes and dislikes then it won’t be long before there is no relationship.

Do you see people as people and or as an opportunity to advance yourself and your goals? If there is a person in your life that you just can’t seem to gain influence with, ask yourself, are you doing everything you can to show you truly value them. How can you make them not just “feel it” but “see it”?  Never make someone feel important. Know that they are important. People can sense the difference.

Let me ask you this, what are you doing to make yourself more valuable to others? Are you a lifter or a leaner? Are you a bucket of water or gasoline? Do you light up the room or suck the air out?  How are you helping others to lift their lid? You can’t really lead until you have given something. Giving starts the process of winning the loyalty of others.

The return is almost beyond belief when you do so unselfishly. Unselfish investment in other people’s lives comes back to you in ways you would not always expect. When we work for ourselves, we build success. When we serve others we build significance. The best leaders, without exception, have also been humble servants. They look daily for the opportunity to serve someone.

How can I help you today?

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