Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Leaders Who Chase Success Chase the Wind.

A Proverb
"...most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind."1

A Thought

"Business success is good: personal significance is what matters."2

A History

Figure 1

Sometimes the pursuit of success gets in the way of achieving personal significance. This is not any kind of significance - I mean the kind of life that adds meaning to other’s lives, is a positive force with those we “touch” and gives energy and does not take energy from others.

You may be driven, in some subtle way, to achieve some sort of status - success. You behave in ways that will yield the recognition you consciously, or unconsciously seek.

Relationship-building people, unlike status-driven people, respond to different modes of behavior – behaviors that seek to serve others - significance. The concepts surrounding the principles of servant-leadership are based more on relationships (personal significance) than status (success), for example.

The “things” that hinder our progress on our journey to significance often are hidden simply because we don’t move with intentionality toward the kind of significance that adds meaning to others. Our culture stimulates our drive for success. Scriptural culture drives individuals to achieve humility – the ultimate in personal significance.

Which are your chasing?

Copyright © 2011, P. Griffith Lindell.
1 Eccl. 4:4

Figure 1 "significance." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 08 Mar. 2011.

2 Lindell, P. (2011). Struggling With Your Business? 10 Questions to Consider Before Investing A(nother) Dime. (pg. x). Woodburn, OR: Lindell Associates, LLC.


Dave C said...

I like what you said about Spiritual culture driving us to achieve humility. I think that is what I am chasing. I'm so aware of the things of life that rob us of our time and talents. The demands that bring stress and awareness to mundane efforts to work by the sweat of our brow to maintain life. But in the end, it is all about Christ and Who He that matters. Keeping that in mind is humbling when life's chores demand our full attention. Yes, I'm chasing Humility and sometimes it is chasing me.

P. Griffith "Griff" Lindell said...

Isn't that the journey - chasing humility and being chased by it. The later is sometimes painful :).

Lucia Duque Lindell said...

I am chasing control. Trusting in my "own" seen abilities instead of placing my faith in the unseen work of God as he conforms me to the mold of Jesus.
I have been exposed to the lie of personal significance being found in what I do. I am being transformed to see instead the impact of relying on what Jesus did for me, in-spite of me constantly trying to take the reigns from him.

P. Griffith "Griff" Lindell said...

That lie of significance is deadly - I succumbed to it since it seemed so "reasonable" at one time - you hit the nail on the head about maturity...letting go and letting God!
Thank you!

Gary Carpenter said...

It seems to me, in regards to leadership, that those who seek personal significance end up instilling this value in those they are trying to lead. Then they end up in a situation where they are attempting to lead a group that can't be lead.

P. Griffith "Griff" Lindell said...

Two thoughts for your consideration: 1) I have used significance to mean "adding meaning to another person's life - and gives energy, does not take it" - therefore, the group you are leading is learning that in serving "the other" before self, the company benefits - to wit, if I as a boss work to remove impediments to you successfully doing your job, I am serving you; the job will get done by you apply your skill set; and I have modeled serving as a leadership behavior. 2) leaders should not be "breeding" follower, rather other leaders.

The question I ask those working with me on servant-leadership is, are you willing to make a personal commitment to helping followers best achieve their role in meeting corporate objectives?

By doing that, you "make things better" by helping people "be" better.

Sheryl Bullock said...

Griff, thanks for this reminder. The pursuit of success can cloud our vision. We need to re-evaluate regularly to stay on track.