Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. – Albert Einstein
Perhaps no composer has captured the musical heart and soul of America as did Irving Berlin. In addition to familiar favorites such as “God Bless America” and “Easter Parade,” he wrote, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” which still ranks as the all-time best-selling musical score. In an interview for the San Diego Union, Don Freemand asked Berlin, “Is there any question you’ve never been asked that you would like someone to ask you?” “Well, yes, there is one,” he replied. “‘What do you think of the many songs you’ve written that didn’t become hits?’ My reply would be that I still think they are wonderful.”
When it comes to the value that is placed upon you as a leader, regardless of the industry you are in, there is a formula for calculating your worth that is possibly being overlooked.
Certain things continually show up in the rubric of work that are measurements of success that people look to in order to prescribe your worth. Fair or not, that tends to be the norm. Performance reviews center around one’s ability to stay on task, how well he/she works with others, meeting specified goals, contributions to the bottom line etc. (all of which are important and are not meant to be diminished here).
Go back to the story for a moment. While Irving Berlin was famous for the songs we all know and love, he was equally as proud of the ones that did not become hits. It serves as a great reminder for us as leaders. Do you think anyone would think less of Berlin as a gifted singer for recording songs that did not make it to the top of the charts? No.
But herein lies the dilemma. There are countless leaders the world over who daily contribute in thousands of different ways to their respective organizations who do not get the recognition, notoriety, and fame like some do. Does that make them any less a leader in their own right? Certainly not!
Allow me to give you a word of encouragement and a few simple reminders of just how valuable you are as a leader and as a person even if you feel like no one sees, no one cares, or if no one is paying attention. I’d like to frame it from an excerpt from Mother Teresa’s “Do It Anyway” poem.
“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”
Your worth as a leader is not based upon what other people think or say about you. Be kind and find your lane to operate in and don’t allow yourself to be defined by your critics.
“If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.”
Your worth as a leader may be underestimated by those who mistake your honesty and character for weakness. It’s not. And when others try to deceive you they will soon learn that lesson the hard way.
“What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.”
Your worth as a leader is found in the value that you add to others. It is also reflective in the value that you bring to your organization. Others may by their actions and attitudes tear down or destroy, but keep building anyway.
“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
Your worth as a leader is found in your ability to lay your head down at night and be at peace with yourself, with others, and with your Creator. The serenity in your heart the happiness on your countenance may make others jealous, but your worth is not measured by their unhappiness. You have happiness in your heart for a reason. Don’t give it up.
“Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.”
Your worth as a leader is not found it what you take but in what you give. Although in the grand scheme of things it may never be deemed enough, give your best anyway. The measure of your worth and your value as a leader is not defined by where others think you’ve come up short but by what’s in your heart. Keep giving your best!
“In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Take this one last piece of encouragement to heart. At the end of the day this what you hang your hat on. Be encouraged. Stay strong. Keep serving. You now know who’s keeping score.
© 2016 Doug Dickerson