Business leaders often evaluate decisions by how they will impact their schedule, how it will impact finances, and their own preferences. However, when making decisions, the important question leaders should be asking is how do we serve the needs of our community or our teams, both as a whole and as individuals?

A core responsibility of a leader is to ensure that personal benefit does not solely influence the decisions we make. Instead, we must have the humility and courage to put others’ interests first. Ultimately, the strongest leaders have a gift for serving others rather than serving their personal preferences and well-being.

Shifting from ‘me’ to ‘we’ in our thinking and decision-making communicates that we care.

Leadership at its core challenges us to listen and be open to the thoughts, desires, and needs of others. The way in which we seek to provide opportunities for others, empathize with them, and celebrate with them will largely determine the strength of our leadership.

For example, many in our community and nation have been impacted by tragedies such as the shooting of Patrick Lyoya. Leaders recognize that what impacts one member of our team or community impacts all of us. We need to grieve and lament the loss of life and injustice that occurs too frequently.

What is your response to others on your team? To the community? To your stakeholders? Are you ignoring their needs and preferences to pursue your own? Begin today to truly empathize with those around you.

Take time to care and pursue decisions and actions that will focus on others. We will be influential as effective leaders when we prioritize inspiring, assisting, and uplifting those around us first.