Leadership impacts everything. Everyone will focus on the most obvious outcome, which is company performance. But it also includes future performance, which depends on developing individuals so that they too can lead.
One thing I learned early on is you suck if everything depends on you.
I remember my first leadership experience at FedEx Ground, 18 years old, I left to start the semester at college, came back when the semester was over to find out many things had changed from when I left. I was informed that when I left, other people who were loyal to me followed me out the door; this left a void. The system I developed was dependent on a few people and myself, it didn’t extend to everyone.
A leader’s job is to develop other leaders. So I didn’t do that. This was a mistake I made, and a leadership lesson I took to heart.
From that point forward, I decided to do my best to develop other people. Starting from their personal development before focusing on their competencies for doing the job. For me, what matters is people will say “I’m a better person because of him”.
As the late Clayton Christensen says, “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”
“Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.” https://t.co/nhHrjmwA98
— Harvard Business Review (@HarvardBiz) January 12, 2021
Bottom line: Ultimately, leadership is measured in the individuals you helped become better people.