Leaders Are You Serving One or Many With Your Service?

Who are you serving with your service?Who are you serving with your service?

How is your organization set up? Is it set up to serve the one, or the many?  Today, we have people who are online with millions of followers.  They have created great systems to make a living selling a small percentage of their followers their products and services. Are they serving others needs?

Many are the rock stars of social media and have the followers to prove it. Take a step back and look at what you’re trying to accomplish.  Do you really need a million followers to have something worthwhile to say?  Or are you diluting your message to get more followers and losing the people who really care?

I recently had a very long term client ask if we should try to develop a large following for his cause. Since I’ve been working with this client for a long time, I told him to let me think about it and I would follow up in a couple of days to share my thoughts. I asked him to consider how he had been most effective in getting things done in the past. What had changed that might convince him to change the way he does business? Is he still committed to serving others with his business?

Now, let me ask you; how are you best serving your cause or purpose? Are you satisfied with the results you’ve been getting? What do you hope to gain with your marketing efforts?  I find many of my nonprofit partners are struggling to get a handle on how to leverage their investments to get more for less. They want to have a large number of followers for their cause, but they are reluctant to invest their limited resources in growing their organization’s capabilities in new directions.  Many of these founders are moving into the fourth quarter of their lives and they need to upgrade their leadership skills to deal with a wider range of stakeholders than they have in the past.

When I talk to these serving leaders I try to help them better understand what the possibilities are and how they can maximize their reach through a wide range of communication choices available today. I ask them to consider who are the best men and women for what they want to do moving forward.

I find that for my business model, I’m looking more for the few than the many. I’m looking for people who are able to motivate and inspire people to take action when the right opportunities come along.  My best clients have significant resources and look to me to help them find great opportunities in which to invest.

I’ve developed strong relationships with my clients based on both sides knowing our unique strengths and capabilities. We are willing to let the other lead to make sure we can maximize the impact of our combined efforts. The key words here are strong relationship forged over a very long time.

For the last several years, I’ve tried to build programs for the many. It just doesn’t seem to work with my style or high standards. My clients and partners are very good at getting things done, but tend to be more private than most people. We tend to enjoy sharing our associates’ success both personally and professionally with others, but not always in a tweet. We find great joy in watching others do amazing things. We look for ways to help them celebrate their successes.

One of my clients sends personal notes to his fellow CEOs when he sees them doing some great. Is this why he is able to get so much done when it is critical to get much done? He does this with less than 100 messages a year. Maybe a few more during a great year! Many social leaders do that many tweets in a single day. Every day!

I find that I can do much more with a team of between seven and twelve good people than I can accomplish with many more people involved. I try to guarantee the results that we shoot for. This means I need to understand what the other person needs to have to be successful.I concentrate on serving their needs first.  If a leader can understand what his team needs and then provides it, they will be very successful.  How effective are you at helping others get what they want?

I understand things have changed over the past several years. I know it is critical to your success to have the ability to attract, develop, and retain key people in your organization.  Today, we invest significant resources and capital to get others to do things well. Many times, we try to connect with so many people that we miss the critical few that could make a significant difference to our cause.

Over the next several weeks we are going to talk more about the tools that can help you become a more connected serving leader. I believe it’s critical to have serving leaders know what their options are when choosing how to invest their time and resources.  Friday this week, we focus on several ideas that will help you surround yourself with the best talent available. See you Friday.

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