The 22 Imperatives of Leadership: #6 – Leaders Are Selfless

The 22 Imperatives of Leadership: #6 – Leaders Are Selfless

The authentic leader is selfless. He willingly sacrifices.
He puts his cause and calling above his own small personal needs.

Look, there are many things that I personally would like to do that I don’t do.

There are many things I’d like to have in my life that I don’t physically have.

I’d often like to study more, meditate more, travel to sacred sights more like I’ve done all my life, research more, hike in nature more, learn more new things, have more money in my investment account, have a nice sizable salary, pay myself first before I pay team members, vendors, accountants, and lawyers.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

To date, I haven’t taken a salary from my business for almost 6 years now.

Please don’t mistake this for complaining. This is 4 years shorter than I’ve already done previously.

What’s the James Arthur Ray secret?

It’s called being committed to a cause and calling. It’s called being a leader and entrepreneur; and if you are one, then you can probably relate at least at some level if not all levels.

It’s called being more committed to the cause than to personal comfort.

My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million.
I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70M in Tesla, and $10M in Solar City.
I had to borrow money for rent.
~ Elon Musk

Look, I’ve studied great leaders, and how to be a good leader, for most my adult life. One of the greatest, was the great warrior king, Alexander. His behavior even earned him the moniker Alexander the Great.

There was a time during his conquests when he and his soldiers had been marching and fighting for months upon end. The weather was brutal, and supplies were completely exhausted.

Including water.

Alexander sent his scout out to find the much-needed water. After much time the scout returned, his horse at full gallop.

Anticipations were high.

The troops were completely drained and shattered, extreme exhaustion had set in, so much so they were beginning to grumble and talk of quitting.

The scout approached with one helmet full of water. He stated to his king, “Sir this is all I could find.” He willingly handed it to his leader.

As the king, Alexander had every single right to take the water for himself. It was tempting. He was as exhausted and as parched as his men, if not even more so.

No one in the army would have faulted Alexander for taking the water. After all, he was the king. He was entitled by his rank and position.

Alexander dismounted his horse, took the helmet from the scout, and walked in front of the troops.

He proceeded to pour the water on the ground much to the shock of his men.

He looked at them and stated, “If we all don’t drink then none of us drinks.”

The troops immediately rallied and hailed their king. How could they not.

Commitment and inspiration filled their bodies once again. There could be no greater team building strategy than this level of sacrifice.

True Leaders Are Selfless

Leaders always give more than expected.
They never ask anyone to do anything they
themselves would not do or have not done.

Steve Jobs was a billionaire; and he had no furniture in his home. He was never there. His salary from Apple was only $1.00 per year. He was devoting his entire life to his craft.

Elon Musk works 120 hours per week, often sleeps on his factory floor at SpaceX and Tesla, and only takes a salary of $37,000 per year.

Einstein, Tesla and da Vinci only slept for approximately 3 hours per night.

If it’s about the money for you, you genuinely don’t get it.
All authentic leaders do what they do for the mission, the meaning,
and the work. They give far more than anyone could ever expect of them.

How about you?

Are you self-focused and self-absorbed like most?

Or are you service and mission focused?

There’s only one answer on how to have a fulfilling and meaningful life.

I think you know what the answer is.

Success without fulfillment is not success at all.

Be a Leader. Live Your Purpose; and Take Your Power Back!