The Best Leaders Give the Greatest Gift to Those They Lead – Their Time.
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

There is only one resource that is truly used up – our time. As a person, it is our most precious resource we can give. Time is the same for every one of us. We only get 24 hours each day. How we use them defines who we are and what we can do with our lives.

My favorite people, and leaders whom I have learned the most from, give me the gift of their time. When I am with them, I am the only one that matters. They are not preoccupied with the next thing. They are not on their phone. They truly listen to me. I matter most at that moment. They want to know how I am. They ask how they can help me. They offer sage advice when I need it. They know how to be quiet and just listen. When I am in their presence, I feel more than appreciated. I feel cherished. I leave their presence knowing that I am cared deeply about and that I matter to them. I can vividly recall experiences like these with my friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers. Can you recall these experiences in your life?

Great leaders are great primarily because of how they interact with others. They know their lives are really not about them. They are in service to others and have a greater mission. They influence more than they direct. They give more than they take. Their legacy is in how the people they work with carry on the mission of the organizations they lead. They are remembered. They are usually greatly missed when they are gone. Leaders in an organization can have any title and perform any role. Leadership is primarily based upon how we treat others as we accomplish outcomes. The best leaders make us feel good about what we are doing. They help us find within ourselves the self-motivation to push forward again and again. Their legacy is more than sustainable and successful results – it’s caring for and growing people.

Unfortunately, we do not generally get to read or hear about these types of leaders enough. They don’t usually make for blockbuster movies, articles, or books. The villains get much better press. But, we do remember them for our lifetimes. They leave a lasting mark on who we are. That makes them special. That makes them the best.

How can you give your time more fully to those you work with? How can you be more present to the people that you care most about? How can you give up the distractions that diminish the times you are with others? Can you validate the lives of those you work with by how you spend your time with them? We can all choose to be better leaders no matter where we are and what we do. During this Holiday Season, give the gift of your time and attention. It’s the gift that means the most to others – and it keeps giving long after your time with them is finished.