Success Requires Others

One key point to remember when trying to succeed is that success always takes a team of people. The notion that someone is self-made is ridiculous. It took two other people just to get you on the planet. I can’t think of anything else on the planet that is less self-made than humans are. So, if we always need others to help us succeed, then we should probably think about how we treat other people. Now, I understand that people are people and are always doing special things. 🙂 I am not saying that people won’t continue to bug us sometimes, but we need to have grace when dealing with humans because all of us are messt up. (I know that’s not a word, but it is appropriate here. Thanks for the grace.) The Magic of Thinking Big gives us four leadership principles to help in this area:

  1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence.
  2. Think: What is the human way to handle this?
  3. Think progress, believe in progress, and push for progress.
  4. Take time out to confer with yourself.

Let me give you an example of number one on the list. A lady was hired to be the assistant buyer for a low- to medium-priced department store. All of the things she purchased were great, but they were not selling well. Eventually, she was let go from her position. The reason was because she was purchasing items that she liked. She was raised in a well-off family that was used to purchasing high-quality items that naturally cost more. She was thinking everyone would love what she loved, but she never tried to mentally switch places with someone that had a tight budget. It is very important in business to always try to think from the other person’s point of view. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People talks about the importance of moving to the other side of the table with someone—in other words, seeing the world  from that person’s perspective or walking a mile in his shoes. The question to ask oneself is: How can I help that person based on where he is, what he sees, what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and what he dreams about and not what I think he should see, like, not like, or dream about?

Now if you are mentoring someone, you have to have the ability to see from the other person’s point of view and understand his position but also be able to see where he can be, rather than just where he is.

The human way to handle things actually seems like it is not natural to humans at all.  I have seen people try to be the dictator and the letter-of-the-law person. The dictator sounds like this: “You will do it this way, or else!” That kind of attitude is really good for destroying relationships. Now, of course, most of us don’t approach it that way. We  say things like, “Well, I am a so and so, and I think I know what I am talking about” or “Why would you listen to that person?” We have all kinds of creative ways of saying, “I am the dictator” without actually saying those words.

The other big violator is the letter-of-the-law person. I saw this one tragically implemented one time. Our business team produced a CD that talked about the husband being responsible for the family finances. The letter-of-the-law people told all the males that they should be writing the checks and doing all of the budgeting. WOW! I have never seen so many couples’ monthly budgets get destroyed so quickly! The wife was the organized one, and the sanguine males started torturing themselves trying to do the budgets. The human way is to look from their shoes and implement the principle, not the details. The male could still be responsible for the month’s budget without having to do the technical work. Study anyone that has successful long-term relationships, and they have handled things in a human way instead of the dictator or letter-of-the-law way.

The third item of always seeking improvement can cover many areas, but let me try to boil it down to a few simple steps. First, be harder on yourself than you are on your team members. If you strive for excellence yourself, your team will always follow suit. Second,  try to make all your goals revolve around helping others hit their goals. If you plan it that way, then by default, you are focusing on others but still striving for progress.

The last step from The Magic of Thinking Big is to confer with yourself. The number one job of the leader is to think. I believe it was Henry Ford who said, “The hardest work in life is thinking; that is why so few people engage in it.” If the leader is not mentally ahead of the followers, then that means he is mentally with the followers and, by default, cannot be leading. Leaders must have quiet moments in which they give themselves time to think through issues, game plan, and set goals. This should be a weekly habit, but then leaders also need some bigger (or longer) thought-processing moments. Bestselling author Chris Brady wrote a great book talking about that very subject called A Month of Italy.

God Bless

Bill Lewis

36 thoughts on “Success Requires Others”

  1. Bill, such a great blog. So many great nuggets. One of the big things that caught my eye was from How to Win Friends and Dale Carnegie said not everyone will take responsibility for their actions in chapter one. It was a great reminder for me. Thanks for the blog Bill!!

  2. Wow Bill, what a perspective!! As I grow I see may areas that I need to improve in. In adition I at times see the gap between myself and A new person looking to get involved in our leadership engine to build a business to get their goals and dreams if I am not consciously thinking about it may put them in the ” No Treasure here” category. Not thinking that I had some of the same faults at one time. Thank you Bill & KB for extending grace to me as I continue to get better at paying it forward.
    6 36 360

  3. Thanks for the reminder on how to think through our daily lives. It is easy to take for granted the thought process you and the other leaders in LIFE use when handling situations with people, business, finances, and practically any other circumstance. But the thing to remember and take from this reminder is that you also learned it from somewhere, which is evident by the referral to your sources above. Thanks for being a great leader, and always reminding us that success is learned, not inherited.

  4. I feel as if you were speaking directly to me. I have recently learned that I need others, I should not be trying to do everything myself. It is hard to know that it is okay to ask for help in certain instances. A special “Thank You” for my team for believing in me and always being there when I need them.

  5. Your point on “Trade minds with the people you want to influence” Is the key, to inspiring others. I read a chapter in the book “The Tipping Point” how the creators of Sesame Street, and Blue Clues had to relate to children to inspire them. Your message was exactly what they accomplish and had in mind. You get two thumbs up for that one.

  6. Wow
    What a powerful article this is. It’s always easier to be reminded then tought. Thanks for this inspiring blog on living intentionally for excellence

  7. What came to mind Bill after reading your post, is I wondered, Why is my mentor pushing me? Why is she asking me to do something, I at the time did not think I was ready to do? Then, I started my second team, I quickly learned she was looking at my potential and trying to assist me in doing the action required to move forward and grow in my life and business! I actually called her up and said, ” Thank you so much, Anything….I mean Anything, You tell me to do, I will listen!” I had a new found understanding of her why for me because now I want that same thing for others. It took stepping out of my shoes and into another role to really see the impact and reasoning behind the loving actions. She wants me to WIN! and I want My team to WIN. And what is so amazing about this business is it truly is a win win situation and I now fully understand that and am So blessed to be a part of LIFE. Thank You for all your awesome golden nuggets 🙂

  8. Thank you, Bill. As always, I’m reminded of the little things that I should be focusing on in my pursuit of excellence…those little things that tend to get swept under the rug in the rush of the day-to-day happenings.

  9. great article Bill! The Magic of Thinking Big is full of great thought provoking lessons. I love how you said “If the leader is not mentally ahead of the followers, then that means he is mentally with the followers and, by default, cannot be leading.”
    Just another example of why it’s so important to mentor so you can PDCA and stay on track.
    As always, thank you for your wisdom!

  10. What a great post, Bill! I cannot agree with you more about those four prinicples from The Magic of Thinking Big. By the grace of God and the encouragement from our leaders, Dave & Kelley, and our mentors, Chad & Carol, I have been reading and studying the top 5 books over and over during the last six months. I can’t stress enough the difference the principles in those books have made in my life in that short timeframe. Thank you for posting the above lessons!

  11. nicely said Bill.
    for me i`m always thinking its got to be all me.i need to remember there`s no I in team.
    your messages give me the direction and hope i need !
    thank you !

  12. Thanks Bill for the clear way of explaining that we need to learn and act on truth principles.
    Once again we witness the superior product of the leadership factory known as Life/Team.

  13. Excellent post, thank you very much for sharing in the blogosphere, Bill. Reminds me of a slighly older Chris Mattis CD where he spoke of the book, Tribal Leadership, and the 5 levels of thinking. Successful results are spawned from Level 4 and 5 thinking, which is very much interdependent; in short, the success requires others. Whether its one million people ( 😉 ), or anything else of like size or scope, one cannot do it alone without true friends/community.

    Merry Christmas to you, Jackie, & the kids!!

  14. Bill, that last part about just taking the time to think things through has helped, my very choleric self, to avoid saying certain things, implement others, and adjust when necessary,which is often I might add. Just being able to take a step or two outside of oneself to see the other parties in the picture brings great clarity. Thank you for this post. It too was an awesome way to reflect and grow.

  15. Wow! Bill, you always have a way of putting something out there that’s relevant to my life right at the time. Thanks for being a fantastic example of a grace-filled leader!

  16. Thanks for the post. I love it when we are reminded that if we just look after others first, we too will be taken care of. Merry Christmas to all.

  17. Excellent post…everyone is at a different walk…..what works for one might not work for another…but most basics are basic…always get opinion of your mentor…they have been there , done that..much easier way to learn by someone else experience. But important to know how they overcame. Thanks Bill for the post, the direction, and teachings.

  18. Awesome teaching Bill! You’re writing really helps me get over things mentally and helps me focus on what I need to be focused on and I really appreciate that! You’re awesome brotha 🙂

  19. Bill, I read this blog for the second time just now, and i can’t help but be humbled these truths. I’m reading How to Win Friends again, time #3, and it’s almost like I had never even picked it up before. It’s incredible to me how truth strikes such a deep cord in a persons very being. Especially when they are dreams and goals focused. It inevitably leads to a self solutions focus if the goals are big enough. I say all that to say that I appreciate these truths sooooo very much. Confronting truth in oneself fosters love, genuine love for yourself; to the point of not accepting old lax ways of self evaluation. This leads to a deep love for your loved ones, family, and teams. It had been the most rewarding feeling in my business thus far to have developed into that. This information you provide has been vital to my growth. Keep rocking man, and as always, thank you.

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