Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at a fascinating conference filled with diverse minds, pioneering ideas, and vibrant discussions. However, as I witnessed the unfolding of various presentations, something struck me: a handful of presenters seemingly harbored a misconception about who was the real star of the show.
In every exchange, every interaction, every shared moment of wisdom, the spotlight should fall not on the speaker, but on the audience. Leadership, after all, is not about standing on a pedestal; it’s about elevating others to a platform where they can shine.
When I write these blog posts, or when I am invited to speak at conferences, I am acutely aware that my purpose is not to bask in self-importance but to serve, to inform, to provoke thought, and, above all, to provide value to you. You’re important. It’s your growth, your insight, and your journey that matter. And this is the mindset that every leader, every speaker, and every influencer should embrace.
This is what I call the ‘unselfish perspective’—a standpoint that recognizes the importance of the listener over the speaker, the team over the leader, the student over the teacher. It reminds us that our work is about the impact we can make on others, not the accolades we can gather for ourselves.
Don’t misunderstand, self-esteem is vital. But, it’s critical not to let self-regard eclipse the needs and interests of the audience. As leaders, we must commit to being conduits of inspiration and knowledge, empowering others to realize their potential.
The next time you take the stage, enter a meeting, or even write a blog post, remember this: It’s not about how bright you can shine in the spotlight; it’s about how much light you can cast onto others. Because in leadership, and indeed in life, the best way to become important is to focus on making others feel that they are.
Keep shining your light. It’s much needed in these challenging times.