Make the other person more important than you is one of the twelve leadership precepts we use.
However, it is open to misinterpretation, which is rather unfortunate as emotional intelligence at work prides itself on the clarity of its communication.
What it means is:
Think and feel about other people, behave towards other people, as if they were more important than you.
That does not mean believe that they are more important than you and that, in particular, you are inferior to them. This would immediately risk putting oneself into a victim role. In terms of the model of stages of personal development we use, it is putting oneself into a dependent position. This tends to push the other person into an independent position which tends, in turn, to reinforce one’s dependency. This is obviously not a good thing. Nor is it necessary.
In practice, we suggest putting the fulfilment of the other person’s needs ahead of the fulfilment of your own. At the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, there is a motto, “Officers eat last”. Officers put the welfare of their troops ahead of their own.
This does not mean that officers get no dinner, and “Make the other person more important than you” doesn’t mean your needs don’t get met.
Where this is a transformational precept is that it doesn’t have to be restricted to just the boss of a team.
If everyone in the team is making every other person in the team more important than them, just how powerful is that?
The simple, most powerful way of generating real drive in a team, and real commitment to the team by its members, is for everyone to commit to this precept.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . added 23 april 2015 . image: Free images