A leader is someone who is an example for others to follow. How do we become an example for others to follow? How do we, as leaders, create meaningful connections with others? We have to be committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That is greater than ourselves.
When we're committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves, then it doesn't matter what happens to us, it doesn't matter what challenge comes our way, because that becomes fuel for us on our path and makes us stronger. That only inspires us. It creates empathy within us so that we can make deeper, more meaningful connections with others.
There's a perception that we're connected, but many people feel more lonely and disconnected that ever. This is especially true in remote work environments. A leader's role, especially when leading a team where some members are remote, is to build meaningful connections that engage and motivate people.
How does a leader make meaningful connections with others?
The real secret to making meaningful connections with others is to not want anything from them. That's the most important thing in the world; to not want anything from others, except for their wellbeing. We run into trouble when we are making connections with a subconscious intention to only benefit ourselves. Of course we want a beneficial outcome. We want to support our families, we want to make an income, we want to make a profit. But that can't be our driving motivation in connecting with others. That’s not impressive. What's really impressive is connecting with others without any selfish motivation. And that's difficult to do.
Leading an inspired life
The real work is connecting with others solely to benefit them. Any profit, any gain is really a side effect of our wanting to help them. The way that we inspire others is by leading an inspired life. It all goes back to that commitment to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That's how we can inspire others—when we're inspired. That's how we make our team inspired.
People don't want to be influenced, people don't want to be manipulated, and people are not going to follow us because we want them to follow us. People are going to follow us because they see that we're altruistic, that we're inspired, that we're committed, that we're on a path. That is what will inspire better team performance and positive business outcomes.