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Posted on January 17, 2018

It’s human nature to evaluate yourself against other people. There are people who intimidate us because we feel outranked, outdone or “less than” when measured against them.

There are other people we perceive ourself as “more than” (even if only subconsciously).

Both of these patterns must be eliminated if you want to reach your potential as a leader.

FEELING “LESS THAN”

Although there are people who may outrank you organizationally or experientially, there is nobody who has more intrinsic value than you as person. We were all created equally, with unique gifts and divine value. If you don’t believe this you might shrink back from opportunities to shine or impact the world positively depending on who is around. 

If you ever find yourself shrinking back from certain people remind yourself “you are a peer to all men and women” and as such, you should not forgo taking risks or doing what you know needs to be done in exchange for managing the perceptions of others. 

Alternatively, instead of shrinking back, you may feel the need to perform to earn the approval of others. People who are constantly comparing themselves to others end up performing to prove their value. This can come across as needy and less than helpful. If you can relate to this you will benefit from reminding yourself “you are a peer to all men and women.” With that mindset, you will then be able to spend less time figuring out how to be important and more time being helpful. Consequently, people will respond to you more favorably.

FEELING “MORE THAN”

You also don’t hold more intrinsic value than any other person. Do you ever get frustrated with people in front of you in a line or in traffic? I have a tendency to get critical of people who drive slowly or unintentionally. I’m usually trying to find a way around them. It comes down to the fact that I feel entitled to have a clear path to drive my way at my pace free from anyone impeding my agenda. Somehow, This is an entitlement mindset and is neither helpful nor effective. The reality is I’m no more important than any other person on the road. I am nothing more than a peer to all men and women. They have every right to drive in the lane in front of me in the manner they are most comfortable. 

Do you ever get impatient with the people around you who don’t behave and think the same way you do? Although it is necessary to coach your team and to hold them accountable for performance, they need the same grace you desire to be extended to you when you don’t have it all figured out. Remember, they may behave and think differently than you, but their intrinsic value is equal to yours. 

The best leaders know they aren’t more important than anybody else. This perspective produces the type of patience people respond favorably to. Reminding yourself that “you are a peer to all men and women” will help. If your agenda is always the most important topic in the room you will unintentionally devalue the very people you are trying to motivate. This often results in low engagement. 

BE A PEER

Begin thinking about “being a peer to all men and women” and watch your leadership performance and well-being grow!

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