Great Leaders Focus on Capitalizing the We
i can’t believe that i never noticed this before. Reading the other day, i wondered why the personal pro-noun “i” is always capitalized, but not “We”. Great leaders focus on capitalizing the We.
Although we might just view this as a convention of language, to me it is quite striking that our language capitalizes the “i” but no other personal pronoun. It is a reflection of our attachment to the importance of the individual over the importance of the greater good.
Perhaps this can help explain why we tend towards selfishness. Language is a key element of our worldview. If our language is set up to value ourselves over others, our minds are more inclined to do so as well.
As i reflected on this, it occurred to me that the more ideal language structure would be to only capitalize the personal pronoun, “We.”
Great leaders know that one of the keys to success is focusing on the We more than the i.
If we’re promoted into a leadership position, it’s probably because we’re really good at what we do. One of the most difficult challenges most leaders face is to continuously be shifting away from the idea that “i have to do it,” and moving towards, “We do it together.”
As leaders our success is no longer measured by our personal accomplishments. Our success is measured by what our people accomplish as a team. This requires a whole new skill set. It requires us to always be thinking in terms of We.
When We think in terms of We more often, We naturally find ways to better serve our people. When We serve our people, they better serve our customer or members.
This is the secret to success isn’t it. The organization that best understands and meets the needs of the customer or the member is the one that wins in the long term.
Here’s an interesting experiment. Try eliminating the word “i” from your vocabulary for a day and replace it with “We”.
What do you notice when you try this out?