A request that oftentimes comes from our executive clientele is their need to become more aware of the impact of their leadership on other people. A good measure of this is the notion of “personal wealth.”
Our own sense of personal wealth at work revolves around how well we connect with others and how well others connect with us. We can be aware of and have some control over both sides of this exchange. Our sense of personal wealth comes from the perception of how we think, feel, act and react to another person and how the other person thinks, feels, acts and reacts to us.
For example, someone may think they are showing their colleagues how wonderful they are when actually they are showing the opposite—they are being arrogant, overbearing and rude. They have a need to act big because they don’t want to feel or be seen as insignificant. Upon reflection this person may even experience personal remorse and realize that their rude behavior did not increase their sense of personal wealth but lowered it. We hope that they also realize that really exemplar leaders never act like that.
Still, there is more to this. They have no idea that they are negatively impacting the feelings of personal wealth of others. The person who is subject to the overbearing behavior is made to feel diminished by the insinuations that he or she is inadequate. Furthermore, the rude person digs himself a larger hole as the more he may feel threatened, the more he creates a need to continue to act badly. This is seen, in particular, when he feels he is being challenged. To protect the reality of his insecurity from being exposed, he will attack the challenger, usually personally, because the viciousness of a personal attack has a more immediate impact.
Leaders who really have a good opinion of themselves do not have to go to extremes to convince themselves they are bigger than they feel. At work, most of us agree that diminishing the personal wealth of others is not leader-like and has a negative impact in the environment.
Knowing how well we perceive our connection to other people and how well they perceive their connection to us is an indispensable capacity for a leader. A leader is successful in the exchanges if both parties can walk away from the exchange with their own sense of personal wealth still intact.
How can a leader ensure this happens? Here are five ways for business leaders to promote personal wealth in their workplaces and in their dealings with colleagues, business partners and other constituents:
- Avoid negative self-talk and unhealthy ego surges to maintain your own personal wealth. Stay fresh with proper diet and sleep, regular exercise, yoga and meditation.
- Tell others of their positive impression on you regarding their accomplishments and responsibilities to promote their personal wealth. Be genuinely interested in them.
- Value interactive people skills where a respectfulness for the intrinsic worth of both parties is held as a foundation when solving motivation, emotional and complex problems at work.
- Give credit to those who really do the work. Eliminate sarcasm, teasing, kidding and skepticism in your delivery.
- Stand against all types of bullying at work, including gossip mongers, those who block creativity and generative thinking, narcissists who take the oxygen out of the room, and individuals who are socially aggressive and hostile.