Insignificant – unimportant, irrelevant, inconsequential, trivial, minor.
If your actions lead some people in your organization to assess their contributions as being insignificant, what does that tell you about the type of leader that you are? And what does that tell you about the organization that you lead?
No one wants to be viewed and judged as being insignificant. I cannot imagine someone wanting to be perceived as immaterial to an organization. Or be a member who feels they make negligible contributions and are of little value.
These feelings do exist in some organizations but they are preventable.
Early on in my career as a school administrator I received some advice that helped me understand that you have to believe and demonstrate through your leadership actions, that all the people you lead are significant.
This individual emphasized the word all. He reminded me that as a school leader I was responsible for ensuring that I supported and cared for the teachers, students and parents. But what he also shared was that I should never forget to support, care and listen to the secretaries, custodians and bus drivers.
He rightly acknowledged that these individuals were usually the unrecognized “super heroes” of the school. That they are just as important and had an amazing amount of influence and impact on a school’s success and subsequently your success. These individuals were just as significant as the teachers, students and parents.
I appreciated that early advice and endeavoured to employ it throughout my career.
That advice helped me to grow as a leader and facilitated the formation of my heart for leadership. I developed a servant leader’s heart where I viewed all of the people I lead as people to work for and with. Not a selfish leader who views people as working for me. A servant’s heart that believes all are significant and valued for service. My mission became to serve and not to be served.
I genuinely believe that all of the people whom we lead are significant. Ask yourself what type of leader would you want leading you? Use the following descriptors of selfish and servant leaders to assist you.
Then honestly appraise where you stand on these descriptors. I hope that your assessment is leaning towards the road of being a servant leader for I see this road as leading to significance for all. If it is not perhaps your reflections will cause you to pause and change direction. No one deserves to be insignificant.
Selfish Leader Servant Leader
Serve me attitude Serve others attitude
Directs others Listens and empowers others
Self-important and prideful Humble
Exclusionary Accepting and tolerant
Creates strife and division Builds relationships