Other Focused

Am I other-focused? The question calls our attention to our own motives. Why am I doing what I am doing? Am I focused on me? Who else is involved? What are their inner-most feelings? What is the common good of the relationship, the group or the organization? Am I sacrificing for the collective good? The question is transformational because it moves us out of the normal realm of self-interest. When we are other-focused, our relationships change.

When we commit to the success and the development of others, we behave differently. If someone secures a fine opportunity in another company, we do not turn angry. Instead we rejoice with them and facilitate their move and continue to invest in their development. We do this because they are of inherent value, not because they are of value to us.

When we are other-focused, other people are fully aware. They know they can trust us to facilitate their growth and development. They know not only by how we treat them directly, but by watching how we treat everyone, particularly those with less hierarchical influence than we have. How we treat people with less hierarchical power is a strong indicator of our orientation towards human community. When we are other focused, we willingly sacrifice for the best of the collective. Because it is not normal, and because everyone knows, people begin to give us two things, respect and trust. When we have respect and trust, we have moral power. With respect and trust we can do things we could not otherwise do. In particular, we can begin to build a new kind of community, a productive community in which many people are other-focused. This is a key of organizational excellence.

Reflection

When am I other-focused?

How does an organization change when the leader is other-focused?

How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?


 

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