If you’re a leader who is ready to move on, either by promotion, for a new challenge or even retirement and there is no one prepared to step in and take your place then no matter what your accomplishments have been, you have not fully succeeded as a leader.
Authentic leaders build more leaders not just a bigger following.
At any level of an organization the surest way to advance is to prepare others to succeed in the position that you currently hold. That’s where true job security comes from. Never limit your thinking to the belief that “job security” only comes from the job you currently hold or company where you are currently employed.
The ability to build leaders ensures that you’ll always be in demand, it ensures that you’ll always have “job security.” Today, more than ever before true job security comes from what you bring to an organization. Job security doesn’t come from a job or an organization, it comes from you.
Leaders who see themselves as “the boss” responsible only for controlling and ruling people miss out on what authentic leadership is all about. Authentic leadership is about building other people, not yourself and not a company or organization. When a leader builds people they take care of building the company or organization.
The process of building other people begins with a change of mindset. If you’re “spending” time on your people you must change your thinking to one of “investing” time with your people. If you do not see your people as an asset to invest in then you’ll find it very difficult to make the personal sacrifices required to truly build them.
Personal sacrifices include putting their needs before yours. It includes listening, really really listening even when you just don’t have the time. If you’re going to truly build more leaders you’ll need to courageously have the difficult conversations that leaders who just spend time on their people won’t have.
Most of all, more than any other single thing if you’re going to build more leaders then you’re going to have to accept the fact that your leadership is about other people and not about you. You’re legacy as a leader will be determined by the success of the people you lead when you’re not leading them anymore.
If you really want to determine the effectiveness of a leader then don’t look at the leader, look at the people they lead. If you don’t like what you see when you look at your people then don’t ask what they need to change, ask instead what you need to change.
That’s authentic leadership!