How many times have you heard that a leader has been head of the institution for 20 years? Many leaders are elected in the same position repeatedly to a point that you lose count. This happens in politics, football, non-governmental organisations and in the corporate world. Is it because there are no other better leaders than them to be at the helm?
The sustenance of any organisation depends on the quality of leaders who develop other leaders to take over the baton. These are leaders who understand that leadership is not about maintaining a list of followers but about creating new leaders to take over from the current cohort of leaders. True leaders do not feel intimidated by up and coming leaders. Instead they are self-confident and they can imagine the organisation without them.
True leaders work themselves out of their own jobs by doing the following:
- They hire the best talent
True leaders recruit people who are better than them in their disciplines. They can afford to do this because they are solid citizens who have highly developed self-esteem. They are not intimidated by the knowledge and experience that others possess. They see the bigger picture because they understand that their teams should be able to operate with or without them in most cases. This can only happen if they bring the cream of the crop to advance the strategic objectives of the organisation. They fully understand it is not about them, they are there to render themselves redundant so that the leaders with new perspectives can take the lead.
- They create opportunities for advancement
True leaders do not bring talented individuals in the organisation to stifle them. They act as catalysts for advancement because they understand that a seed can only germinate on fertile ground. They facilitate access to relevant stakeholders, guide their teams to the right information and provide right tools that will enable them to fulfil their jobs with less hassle. They find the best in others and set them up for success. Personally, I was a beneficiary of such leadership at the early stages of my career. My leader exposed me to meetings where I was not only accompanying him but he allowed me to take the lead on topics of interest. This boosted my confidence because he was not after recognition for himself. He was open about the fact that he was preparing me and others in the race to take over from him.
- They impart their wisdom
Poor leaders hoard information with the hope that they will become indispensable. They want to become the centre of attraction and remain with tacit knowledge in their heads. The true leaders download everything for others to use. They feel rewarded when they see others advancing and becoming better leaders. They identify what others are good at and set them on a path of success through mentoring and coaching. They share their experiences and life journeys to help others. The essence of true leadership is embracing the responsibility of developing the organization’s potential. They know that anything short of this precious task will have serious consequences for the continued existence of the organization.
As a leader ask yourself:
– How do I spot talent and grow the organisation of the future?
– How can I create opportunities for my team to flourish?
– What can I do to set my team members for success?
– Have I shared my knowledge and skills to help others succeed?
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper