“The basic and seemingly paradoxical truth of GTY (Greater Than Yourself) is that truly great leaders in life,” said Charles Roland, “become so because they cause others to be greater than themselves.”
The words sounded familiar. “Who said that?” I asked Charles.
“Well, unless you’re a ventriloquist, I did,” he said mischievously.
Thus begins chapter 4 of Steve Farber’s brilliant book, “Greater Than Yourself: the Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership.” It’s a smooth, velvet-worded tale that takes you on a music-laden ride with Steve, ultimately getting at the heart of what makes “Greater Than Yourself” leadership so powerful.
I found this book thoroughly inspiring and am thrilled to announce that Steve Farber will be the Guest Host for this week’s Leadership Chat at 8:00 pm ET on Twitter. Having had the privilege of sitting next to Steve at last year’s SOBCon conference I can attest to the depth of Steve’s wisdom and insights that he’ll be sharing with us.
He’ll be helping the Leadership Chat Community understand the principles behind GTY Leadership, and how we can implement them immediately in our own lives.
What is Greater Than Yourself Leadership?
As the Charles Roland character goes on to say at the end of Chapter 4, “There are three tenets of Greater Than Yourself…Expand Yourself, Give Yourself and Replicate Yourself.”
When reading the book, I found myself connecting with the experience of one of the characters in the book who couldn’t see how he had enough to give, or anything worthy enough to give, that would enable another person to truly be “greater than themself.”
So, reading the following passage in the words of the Charles Roland character was eye-opening for me:
“Now, if you’re really going to take this seriously, to make others greater than yourself, you have to start the process not with them, but with yourself…
First, you have to have a very deep and expansive sense of who you are. Your self-confidence has to be unshakable and unwavering. You have to understand to the very core of your being that relationship is not a zero-sum game. Your heart has to be big enough to care about another’s hopes and dreams at least as much as you care about your own. And you have to be getting better and better, more competent, smarter, more experienced, more connected to others all the time.
Said another way, you have to Expand Yourself before you can help make others greater.”
Here again, I found myself rocked by the real magnitude of the principle here. You see, this is about more than giving “of yourself” – which implies giving yourself generously but certainly not entirely.
And yet, that is what “Give Yourself” refers to when it comes to Greater Than Yourself Leadership:
“The real payoff comes in the giving of knowledge, not the keeping of it. If I’m going to make you greater, I have to give freely of not only my knowledge, but all my resources: my connections and network, my experience, my insights, my advice and counsel – even my time.”
“Be generous,” I said. It was more of a question than a statement.
“More than generous,” he said. Give. It. All. Away.”
…”If you earn a reputation, Steve, for being one who elevates others, for being someone who gives freely to those around him at work, for turning out superstars, what’s going to happen? You’ll have changed others’ lives, but how will it change yours?
I’ll tell you how. Everyone will want to work with you. And, because of that, you’ll be able to accomplish anything you set out to do…”
“It all circles back to a lovely little paradox: By focusing on making others greater than yourself, you become one of the greats, too. You join a fellowship of the rarest of all human beings.”
As Charles goes on to say in the book, building on the enormity of the previous two principles:
At the end of the day, it’s simply not enough to make others greater than yourself…it’s not enough to accomplish the most important leadership act of all…to change the world.
By making sure that the people you elevate are doing the same for others. Expand Yourself, Give Yourself, and, finally, Replicate Yourself by teaching others to do exactly what you’ve done for them.
You know you want to learn more about the power of GTY leadership! Join us for an insightful and enlightening journey this Tuesday evening, April 19th, at 8:00 pm ET on Twitter as Steve Farber empowers us to live GTY in our own careers and lives.
Don’t forget to use the #LeadershipChat hash tag. My fearless partner, Steve Woodruff, has also co-created a new chat client called ChatTagged that makes it easier to follow chats. Simply download and observe or jump in and participate!
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Thank you for reading and for being part of this community – it means so much to me.
You can find me on Twitter at @LisaPetrilli and on LinkedIn. To hire me for Visionary Leadership programs, Marketing Strategy work or for the Social Media Concierge program, email me at [email protected].
Photo is It Takes a Long Time to Grow an Old Friend by Nina Matthews Photography.