An effective leader develops very different ways of achieving job satisfaction. Personally, when the work of others I manage receives kudos from clients, it feels good. My own ego takes a backseat – and I’m just fine with that.

I’ve been leading our team for three decades and this is certainly not a new thought nor an innovative insight. I didn’t learn it overnight, but gradually it became second-nature that my team’s wins were my wins, whether I was on the front line or not.

Recently, this way of thinking struck me all over again.  It was in the pre-dawn hours when I checked my email account before heading to the gym. First, a Google Alert caught my attention, showing me a client feature just published in the local daily – a monster lead story that spread across much of Page 1 before jumping inside and spreading across two more pages. I beamed with pride at our team’s success.  Next, I began seeing a flurry of emails from another client, starting with our East Coast marketing contact and followed soon after by company executives on the West Coast. Each applauded the flood of prominent and relevant press coverage the HKA team had secured for five consecutive days. I did a fist pump – yay team! I was proud of our client teams that performed amazing work.

If you manage a team, whether directly or indirectly, it is this pride in work well done that generates the fuel for your own engine.  And when your team handles a particularly perplexing challenge, the reward is even sweeter.  Sometimes I miss being the one who hits the homerun, but usually I’m glad to be the manager in the dugout. Yay team!