I am re-reading a book this week called “Greater Than Yourself” by Steve Farber, in which the author puts his own unique twist on the old adage “invest yourself in others.” Farber states that “the measure of your greatness as a leader is to develop leaders who are greater than you.” I would say that is true not just for leaders in a company, but for all people in both their personal or professional lives. Each of us has an opportunity to influence and impact others in order to help them to become all they are meant to be. It’s not just for people with the “leadership position.”
When I reflect back on my life so far, I certainly see several people who have carried out this principle and helped me to grow and develop as a person and a professional. It’s interesting though that this tenet doesn’t just make a particular person better—it has a ripple effect that influences many others. In addition, the person who takes this challenge to live greater than themselves also sees their life get better.
For those of you ready to embark upon the “Greater Than Yourself” challenge, Farber recommends you take the following three steps to carry out this principle.
- Expand Yourself. Before you can help make others great, you need to make sure that you are getting better and better and have the self-confidence and self-awareness to be able to give of yourself. Be willing to try new things. Use tools to help deepen your understanding of who you are. Reach out and connect with others.
- Give Yourself. Pick a person who has the drive, energy, heart and aspirations that can be served by your experience, skills, values and network. Share with them your intent and let them know you that you want to help raise them up to be greater than your capacity and your success. Begin to share your voice of experience and connect them with others in your network. Give of your talent, knowledge, trust and time. Encourage them, shine the spotlight on their accomplishments, and hold them accountable to their own aspirations.
- Replicate Yourself. This is where you encourage those you have worked with to pay it forward and do exactly what you have done for them for others. The implications of such a commitment are significant and can change the world of your business, team, community, and relationships.
To live greater than yourself isn’t always easy because it means you have to let go. Let go of doubt, control, jealousy, and ego. It means helping the people around you shine brighter and not expecting anything in return. It’s about realizing that giving it all away is not about subtracting from who you are, but adding to who you are.
Go to www.greaterthanyourself.com for examples and resources to help you get started on this challenge. Start today and see what happens when you make the deliberate choice to help someone become more capable, competent, and successful than you are.
As an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Trainer with The Village Business Institute, Dawn Kaiser lives her passion–to energize, encourage and equip others to achieve their highest visions and live their strongest lives. She draws on more than 10 years of experience in the Human Resource/Organizational Development field, a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of MN Duluth and a Masters of Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is also a certified HR Professional.