Recently, I read the book Extreme Ownership written by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin. I have read hundreds book on business and leadership and I would put this one in the top 10. While some of the lessons in this book are not completely new, the emotion of the stories makes the authors' 12 principles come alive. After reading this book I felt I needed to conduct a careful assessment of my leadership style to evaluate whether I was committed to extreme ownership. I am not convinced that I have always owned everything in my world, specifically their principle of leading up the chain of command.
I had the privilege of seeing this phrase modeled by Tom Mendoza when I worked at NetApp. Tom made 10-15 calls per day to encourage or praise people working at our company or our partners. He offered to call anyone if someone sent him an email telling him why he should thank someone in our company for their efforts. Tom said, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." He also said, "Leadership is the ability to have people galvanize around a mission to perform at a level much greater than they would have done individually." Tom taught me a lot about how to build a high performance culture.
While I am thankful for what I have received, I have enjoyed giving to others even more. Helping others is what has given my career meaning. Building relationships has given me the opportunity to help others grow their careers and their companies. Helping others has included providing advice, job search assistance, serving people their network, or just encouraging people to become their best.