What Defines You?

There really are only two ways to define a leader. One leader is defined by doing what is best for him/her self. The other is defined by doing what is best for those around him/her. Through the years, I have seen the results of both types of leaders. The former leader breeds a culture of greed and selfishness while the latter sows seeds of humility and trust. 
We all would like to think that we are the leader who puts others first and who cares about her team. However, the truth of our character comes out in times of crises… It was a leadership dilemma. The company had the opportunity to make a large profit. All they had to do was accept the offer to partner with a certain organization. This organization however, had the reputation of doing whatever it took to make a dollar…even if it meant breaking a few rules and telling a few lies. This leader was at the crossroads of maintaining his high character or the reward of financial gain. He never hesitated. He said, "We are not going to sacrifice our integrity or our employees’ character to make a profit." He refused the deal and his company lost the opportunity to make a large profit. However, by putting his team first, he gained their trust and respect. 
The company continues to grow and most importantly, the culture has been solidified. The employees, the community and the competitors know that this organization will not sacrifice its values for any price. That's why it continues to thrive and is one of the top places to work in its field.
Each morning, when we get out of bed, we get to choose which type of leader we will be. Everyday we are an example for our family, our friends and our co-workers. Our behaviorsends a strong message of who we are and how we lead. 
There are no magic bullets or special keys to putting others first. It is simply a decision. Choose to be a leader who is defined by serving others and you will make a difference.