There is a common denominator for the most unlikeable person at your office. The same denominator exists in the most unlikeable person at your church. The exact same denominator exists in the most unlikeable person you went to school with. Put your finger on the denominator yet?
The most unlikeable person makes everything about themselves.
Leadership requires a high level of evaluation. But healthy evaluation is based on the target audience. Say you had opening night of a play you directed, you would want to evaluate the reception of the audience not just the actors. Or if you started a restaurant you would want the opinion of those eating the food and not just the opinion of the head chef. Working with a leader who has the priority of self evaluation seeded in self centeredness is tiring. For the self centered leader instead of measuring a meeting by movement the internal dialogue after the meeting becomes, "How did I sound in the meeting?"
Where can we find ourselves when we think about ourselves first?
- We join a mission for the community instead of mission.
- We view those under our leadership as threats instead of blessings.
- We see those over us in authority as threats instead of blessings.
- We never launch new ideas because of fear of opinion.
- We have to start over in new communities every couple of years (New church, new department, new employer, etc).
- We evaluate everyone on how their performance makes us look.
I'm sure you can add to the list but some of us don't mean to become this type of leader but we find these statements being true for us. What do we do then? The good news is it's not too late, it never really is, to become more generous. For a leader struggling in self centeredness the best question to ask is, "What can I do to be more generous?" Spend a month measuring your generosity over everything else and your focus will change. Self centeredness leads to the addiction of control. Generosity requires a person to give things away, including your time, talent, and possessions. Want to be a happier person? Then start measuring your own generosity.