The essence of the principle of Greater Than Yourself (GTY) is this:
Your own greatness as a leader (or in just about any other role, for that matter) lies, paradoxically, in your ability to cause others to be greater than yourself.
You could argue that this is just the right way for one decent human being to act towards another, and I’d whole-heartedly agree, but let’s set altruism aside for a moment.
Is there a personal payoff for you? A benefit other than a warm, toasty feeling in your chest?
Consider this: If you get a reputation for being the one who elevates people, for being the one who gives freely to others at work, and, as a result, for turning out superstar after superstar, what’s going to happen?
Everyone will want to work with you, that’s what. And because of that, you’ll be able to accomplish anything you set out to do. Anytime you want or need to get anything done—any idea that you want to pursue, any venture, you’ll put out the word and they’ll all come running to help. And for good reason: everyone will know that by the time your project is completed, your idea implemented, your vision realized, they’ll be all that much better for having worked with you, because you will have given them far more than they’ve given you.
And so it goes, over and over again. Give; get more. Give more; get even more. Consider the possibilities and you’ll see why keeping others down is eminently unproductive and—to be blunt—just freaking stupid.
So, here’s my challenge to you:
Build your GTY legacy. Starting right now.
Don’t worry—I’m going to make it easy for you. Great, lasting legacies are built one brick at a time. All I ask is that you pick one person. Just one. And make that one person your own, personal GTY project. Raise that person up, boost him or her above yourself. Start there and see what happens.
In my previous post I mentioned that Pat Lencioni and Matthew Kelly will be co-writing the forward to Greater Than Yourself.
Now you know why.
Matthew is, in essence, Pat’s GTY “project.” Pat wants to see Matthew become a more successful author/speaker/consultant than he is. And he’s helping him get there.
He really is.
So…who do you have in your life right now–let’s focus on work for the moment–who could become your own GTY project?