One of my favorite questions to ask leaders is, “What are you working towards?” It is a difficult question to answer because it is a question that requires thinking. On the surface, most leaders will say that they are working towards results or that they are working toward success. Upon putting on my coaching hat and asking them open ended questions what I find is that most leaders are looking to contribute.
The challenge is not in wanting to contribute but in defining what that means. As a leadership coach my goal is to help leaders work towards legacy building as opposed to results building. Results building focuses on the short-term and on a hard result but true legacy building is about leaving your mark through people. If all a leader does is focus on a result their focus will be short-term. But if the leader focuses on leaving their legacy by creating an impact through people, that legacy can live on for hundreds of years. Political commentator Walter Lippmann said, “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry it on.” It is all abour developing others so that they don't need to be dependent on you.
One of my higher purposes is to develop a legacy of generational leaders. My program Coaching Boys Into Men Program is to ensure that we help equip a generation of men who will make great impact through their business relationships, social relationships, family relationships and their community relationships.
I truly believe that the greatest leadership legacy a person can leave is helping others leave their mark. If I am able to help others grow into a leader, whether that is a leader of their family, organization, or community, then they will be able to duplicate the process and develop leaders. The result is a multiplication effect of people development as opposed to people being dependent on one person. You remove the leader who everyone is dependent upon and the contribution or legacy dies with him. One of my greatest challenges in working with senior leaders is to have them transfer their knowledge and experience to younger generations. All of the knowledge and experience inside of them is no good if it is not invested into others. That is the power of exponential growth.
If you want to truly contribute, invest in people. People are what matter in this world, not material possessions. So the questions that every leader must ask is:
What is my contribution??
Who am I investing in?
What imprint am I leaving behind?
Click here to receive FREE High Performance Leadership Video Training!