Effective leaders understand two things:
1. It starts with me.
2. It’s not about me.
In order to lead, one must be willing to go first…and go last. This is true in so many other areas of life as well.
Perhaps this premise is born out of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we follow this, then we must be willing to go first – to set the example of treating others the way we would like, hope, or expect to be treated.
I know there are a lot of lonely people who wish they had friends…better friends. The principles at work in the Golden Rule apply here as well. Be the type of friend to someone else that you want them to be to you. In other words…be a better friend.
Think about the friends you have. Ask yourself the following questions…then go do what you wish for in the life of someone else.
1. What do you wish someone would do for you today?
Take that action and offer it to someone else. Give someone a hug. Offer to help with a project. Give someone some of your time.
2. What do you wish someone would say to you today?
Take those words and offer them to someone else who needs to hear them. Encourage. Inspire. Motivate.
3. What do you wish someone would remember about you today?
Take some time to identify the important parts of someone else’s life and offer to remember it with them. Recognize a birthday. Celebrate a past achievement. Reminisce about those moments where someone made a sacrifice for the good of others.
4. What do you wish someone would share with you today?
Take a moment to be authentic and offer to be vulnerable with someone else. Let someone know you depend on them. Trust them with your heart. Give them a closer look at your inner life. Create a memory together.
5. What do you wish someone would challenge you with today?
Take an area where you need to grow and offer to help someone else in that area. Share a willingness to be accountable. Offer to be a resource. Create a plan that leads to growth over the long haul.
As you answer each question, the desires you express become the action steps you can offer to someone else. In this way, you begin to invest in your friendships in ways you hope to be reciprocated. Funny thing is, your needs, desires, and wishes begin to be fulfilled in your efforts. In the process of becoming a better friend to others, you’ll become a better person. And whether it’s reciprocated or not, you’ll grow in your confidence and character. Just remember, a better friendship starts with you (realizing it’s not all about you).