How Can I Help?

by Andrew Mair

t wasn’t easy, but a few years ago, I accomplished something significant. I had to overcome a lot of self-doubt and internal obstacles before I could reach this specific goal. Luckily, a colleague of mine played a huge role in my success. He was an exceptional leader who inspired me to believe in endless possibilities. He asked me thought-provoking questions that helped me see where I could improve and gave me valuable insights on how to enhance my skills. He even encouraged me to proceed and not let self-doubt hold me back. His words still stick with me today: “Time will pass anyway, so why not use it to pursue your dreams? You can always finish it, even if you don’t share it with anyone.” And just a little over a year later, I achieved a major milestone when I published my first book, Tales of a Paperboy.

This experience taught me that true leadership is not about holding a hierarchical position; it’s a mindset anyone can adopt. Genuine leaders inspire others through empathy and actions and drive positive change. My colleague had no authority over me, but he demonstrated the mindset of a true leader, motivating me to reach my untapped potential.

Effective Leadership
“Good leaders must first become good servants.”
– Robert Greenleaf

I absolutely love New Amsterdam, the TV series set at a fictional hospital in New York City. Dr. Max Goodwin, the main character, always strives to bring the hospital back to its former glory by providing top-notch patient care. I’ve noticed that one of the recurring themes in the show is “How Can I Help?” It’s refreshing to see Dr. Goodwin using this approach when interacting with everyone at the hospital. It really shows that he cares about every person there and is dedicated to improving their experience.

The show does a great job of illustrating the importance of effective leadership through Dr. Goodwin’s portrayal. Clearly, he prioritizes his team’s well-being and is always looking for ways to help them develop. Dr. Goodwin sets a great example by demonstrating his dedication and preparedness for any task. His extraordinary qualities are especially evident when he asks, “How can I help?”

Effective leadership involves adopting a service mentality, where the needs of others take precedence. It entails fostering trust, creating an environment where individuals can thrive, and seeking improvement.

Humility, empathy, active listening, and a commitment to continuous improvement are fundamental to embodying a service mentality. By adopting a service mindset, leaders empower their teams, promote collaboration, and achieve extraordinary results.

“Leadership is Service, Not Position.” – Tim Fargo
In high school I had my sights set on a role in the school musical. It quickly became apparent that talent was among many factors considered in the casting process. Physical appearance, experience, loyalty, and seniority all played a part, making it challenging for an underclassman like me. However, I didn’t let setbacks discourage me and decided to take a proactive approach by volunteering for set construction. I attended rehearsals daily and was always ready to fill in for lead actors when needed.

My hard work paid off when I was chosen to replace one of the lead actors, who had an unexpected personal issue just a week before the performance. This experience taught me the value of having a service-oriented mindset and being prepared to take on any role. I now apply this mindset in all areas of my life, especially when I am in a leadership position.

As a leader, it is crucial to have a service mindset that prioritizes the needs of others. By doing so, I can create an environment of loyalty, trust, and respect that benefits everyone. My team members must feel valued and empowered to contribute their best, and I strive to understand and address their challenges and issues.

When I make a conscious effort to prioritize the growth and well-being of others, it has a remarkable effect on my motivation and ability to succeed. This is why a service-oriented approach is crucial in cultivating a sense of purpose and building trust within a team.

Open and honest communication becomes a natural byproduct when everyone is committed to serving each other. Collaboration flows seamlessly, and we all share a collective sense of purpose. By prioritizing service, I create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity and overall employee satisfaction.


Like many others, I am constantly improving myself. As a leader, reflecting on strengths and weaknesses is essential to be more effective and progress.

To develop a service leadership mentality, I focus on three key areas:

Values and Mindset
I assess my core values and challenge any self-centered or hierarchical notions of leadership. I prioritize empathy and communication to understand team members’ perspectives better.

Empathy and Communication
As a service-oriented leader, practicing active listening and empathy is essential. Leaders can build strong connections, cultivate trust, and encourage collaboration by fostering open communication and creating a space for sharing.

Decision-Making and Growth
Respectful communication with team members is crucial in building a positive and productive work environment. It’s vital to value diverse opinions, encourage teamwork, and involve team members in decision-making to promote growth and development opportunities.

As a leader, I believe in fostering a supportive culture where everyone’s opinions are valued and teamwork is encouraged. By prioritizing a service-oriented leadership approach, I ensure that not only the needs of my team members are met but also the needs of our customers. This leads to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty, which drives sales and referrals.

By actively listening to feedback and tailoring solutions, I build trust and a positive reputation for our team and company. This benefits our customers and motivates our employees to deliver exceptional service. As a result, we see increased customer retention and revenue growth.

Empowering Others: The Ripple Effect of a Service Mentality
I’ve discovered that prioritizing the needs of my team and adopting a service-oriented mindset can have incredible benefits. It’s amazing how motivating and inspiring it can be for my team members, and it helps to build a sense of trust and cooperation among us all. When I focus on maximizing my own potential and that of others, I find that I can make a positive impact not just in my career, but in all aspects of my life.

Seeing the growth and positive change in those around me is truly fulfilling, and it further inspires me to pursue my goals with a sense of purpose. Moreover, leading with a service mentality helps me to form strong personal connections, create a sense of community, and make a meaningful difference. Ultimately, the real rewards come from the ability to positively influence others and create a supportive and thriving environment.

A service mentality doesn’t mean agreeing to every perceived need. A great leader utilizes their leadership skills and experience to determine the best way to assist. Sometimes, asking someone “How can I help?” may not be effective as they may not have the necessary knowledge or experience.

I’ve found that as an experienced leader, it’s crucial to take control of situations and not solely rely on someone’s input, especially if they lack expertise in a particular area. Being a leader means finding the best approach to assist someone and taking the necessary steps to address the situation effectively. Additionally, it’s important for a leader to find ways to not only solve problems but also maximize growth for everyone involved.

Embracing a service-oriented mindset has revealed the far-reaching impact we can have beyond our immediate circle. By consistently asking “How can I help?” and prioritizing the needs of others, I have witnessed firsthand how I can empower, inspire, and uplift those around me.

The invaluable benefits of positively influencing others, fostering a supportive environment, and forging meaningful connections have reinforced my commitment to this approach. I wholeheartedly embrace the transformative power of a service-oriented leadership style, knowing that it extends beyond boundaries and leaves a lasting legacy of positive change for myself, my family, my company, and my community.

headshot of Andrew J. Mair
Andrew J. Mair is a channel sales engineer at Logitech, where he helps A/V integrators, system integrators, and distributors maximize sales performance with Logitech’s video conferencing solutions. He holds a business degree from Western Governors University and has extensive experience in the video conferencing industry. Mair is also a blogger and author and published his first novel, Tales of Paperboy: A Christmas Story, in 2020. He lives with his wife, Christy, and their two dogs in Round Rock, Texas.