One true pitfall of leadership is that we can get to a place where we feel like the team or organization is our possession. The danger in feeling this way is that we can lose sight of the goal and instead become obsessed with if people are serving us instead of us serving them. Historically speaking, all we have to do is look at failed royalty to see that people don't like to become possessions of a leader. Lucky for us in the west, it's illegal to storm our bedrooms, drag us into the street, and...
If you don't know, this cuts people's heads off.
There are a couple of ways to prevent our hearts from taking possession of the people we lead.
1. Be Grateful- One sure fire way to avoid feeling like you own people is to be grateful for them. Being grateful acknowledges that they became a part of things for only a window of time, not an eternity of servitude to you. When we realize we get to work with awesome people for a window of time we treat them differently than when we think they will never leave.
2. Recognize peoples gifts- Every team member has a gift that they contribute to the team. Leaders need to recognize that that "gift" is a gift to the team not for the leaders success. No one has to use their gift to make the team better, some don't even know it exists or how to use it. Remember, a gift is a gift is a gift.
3. Put up a fence- Leaders become dangerous when they become obsessed with team or organization. If our value is only found in the success or failure of the group then we start to slide to a place where people become greater threats than teammates. Leaders have to establish a boundary line, or a fence line, around their heart to keep their identity separate from the success or failure of the team or organization.
People are not possessions but they are the greatest asset we have. Remember, we can only organize time, work, and space. Help people do this and you'll lead people towards success.