Leadership Isn’t About You, It’s About Unleashing Other People

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs have is going from driving the business forward themselves to driving it forward through others. A former client of mine, from when I was in college, recently reached out to me. He wanted to chat because he wanted to catch up. The conversation quickly shifted to the topic of leadership and how his biggest challenges in building his businesses has been letting other people lead.

When growing a business, delegation is necessary. But taking a step back and letting other people lead is a challenge for many leaders; especially those who are founders.

So, how do you overcome this challenge?

First, understand this: Leadership, at its core, isn’t about you. It’s about how effective you are at unleashing other people. Full stop. That’s it. That’s the secret.

Unleashing other people goes beyond delegation. The main challenge is some entrepreneurs believe it all depends on them, which leads to burnout and developing a big ego. Oftentimes they simply overlooked developing others, or identifying how others can be unleashed.

The worst situation, and the one I talked about with my former client, is when the leader believes it’s all about them. This is when a person believes employees are there to serve them. And boy is this common. Let me set this straight: you’re not a leader if you believe employees are there to serve you.

You are a leader when you serve others. You have no business leading if you believe it’s all about you. You also have no business leading if you don’t develop yourself. That’s it. On the next post I’ll publish a few signs that you might be getting in your own way as a leader, believing it’s all about you.

Bottom line: As your people grow, so does your business. As a leader, you become a bottleneck to growth when you don’t develop others. And you won’t develop others, or see growth in others, if you don’t develop yourself.

Also published on Medium.