Posts Tagged ‘are you just making money or are you making a difference’

Day 90 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Are You Just Making Money or are You Making a Difference?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I can’t speak for all authors, but one of my greatest rewards for writing books is the feedback I receive from readers explaining how a book I wrote has impacted their lives. Making money is nice, making a difference is far more important.

I have been fortunate to receive a steady stream of these uplifting letters and emails since How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK was published last August. In fact, an email I read just moments ago from a reader of the book was so powerful and moving that I shared it with my publisher and my team. I told them, “Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of why we do what we do. Here’s why.” To protect the privacy of the email’s author I cannot share its contents here except to say that it didn’t only make my day, it made my month!

As I continue to write How to Lead by THE BOOK, I maintain an awareness that this is not a book designed to help leaders make more money per se. Instead, it is a guide to help them make a difference. After all, if you learn to make a difference in the lives of your followers, results will skyrocket and the money will be there. But money should not be the primary motive–making the difference should be! I tell my audiences, “Don’t chase the money! Chase making a difference and the money will chase you!”

Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your personal motives and your daily leadership activities and consider the impact–or not–you’re having in the lives of your teammates. Are you just making money or are you making a difference? Are you consumed with becoming more personally successful, or are you striving towards significance by elevating others and taking them with you on your journey?

Here are two quick reminders to help you make a difference:

1. You can’t do it at a distance. While you can impress people with your title, power and knowledge, in order to impact them you must get up close and spend time with them. Don’t expect to become significant by sending out more emails, memos and voice mails! Roll up your sleeves and become more engaged with the people-work part of your job!

2. You cannot impact people by maintaining them. A leader’s job is to stretch others out of their comfort zone with high expectations, honest feedback, increased latitude and discretion, and by providing the training they need to become more successful. If you’re not stretching, you’re not leading!