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Selflessness – You have to DO what you want to BE

Selflessness Defined: Putting the needs of others before my own needs, desires or convenience.

Time. That is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to anybody. In today’s world, time is more valuable than ever. We have more demands pulling us in more directions than any generation before us. Therefore, the gift of our time is more valuable to people than ever before.

But as I think through my life, I recognize that I often divide my attention between the person in front of me and something else. I have read text messages while eating a meal with somebody. I have typed an email while my kids have been telling me about their day. I have answered the phone, because “it was important”, while my wife was talking to me about her job. We have to DO what we want to BE! If we want to be a selfless leader, we need to do what selfless leaders do.

We should never multitask people! People are not tasks that we need to check off our “to do list” for the day. It is a window into our character when we treat people as if they are a task to be handled versus a person to whom we give our attention.

Multiple studies have proven over and over again that multitasking is ineffective. When we divide our attention between more than one thing, 95% of us are more prone to errors and are less efficient. Maybe that is why, when I multitask my wife, I misunderstand her or miss critical aspects of what she needs from me. Because of my inattention, she becomes frustrated and we are in a bad place in our relationship as a result.

The truth is that we all want the same thing. We all want to be heard and understood by the other person. We want to feel like the other person is actually invested in what we are saying. We want to know that they respect us enough to look us in the eye and concentrate on what we are telling them – even when it is inconvenient for them.