This is a question all of us must answer: am I kingdom building or team building? It is so tempting, as we rise in leadership, to start making things about us, and we do it most times without noticing. The higher we move on the org chart, the more authority we earn. We can start to make decisions that look noble on the outside, but are selfish in nature and really only benefit us. It is easy to fall into this trap and that’s why it is important to have a close group of people you trust and confide in. You need “truth cops” in your circle who will call you out when necessary (in a nice way), and who will ask the tough questions.
Public service leaders especially need to be aware of this trap because when they start building a kingdom, the public loses. If we are not careful, we can start sacrificing service for selfishness. Public officials should be able to walk away at any time the public asks them to. We serve the public, and must always have their best interests in mind. After all, they depend on us. Public officials, especially elected officials, must always remember the power is with the people. If we lose public trust, we become ineffective and have two options: ask for forgiveness and work to regain trust, or go home.
If you are kingdom building, you might make it to the top of the org chart, but when you get there, you will be all alone. If you are team building, you won’t care who’s at the top of the chart, but your team will.