I’ve heard all of the following phrases and many more like them uttered over the years.
“I can’t take a vacation, every time I do the whole place falls apart.”
“I had that organization running so well, and then she took over what a mess”
“Well, she was the lynch pin that held that whole place together, now that she’s moved on I am not optimistic”
“I came back from maternity leave early, I just couldn’t stand the thought of cleaning up the mess”
“She built all those relationships, we can’t replace that”
Not only have I heard these phrases, I am embarrassed to say that I have said some of them.
Sometimes they are true.
Sometimes they are not.
Either way, it’s not leadership.
An important sign of real leadership is what happens after the leader moves on.
- Is there a clear vision?
- Does the team have a clear brand and shared values?
- Do the next steps seem perfectly clear?
- Does each member know how they can best contribute?
- Can the team rely on one another to get things done?
And yet, some leaders seem to take secret pride when things fall apart in their absence. They exude a quiet form of giddy when their team can’t function without them.
Short-term results are important. But how do you build a team that can sustain results long after you have moved to the next assignment?
If you are a “indispensable” leader, something is really wrong. You are not adding value long-term.
What can you do now, to ensure your impact will last?
Is Your Team Built to Last?
Jim Collins has fantastic research about how great companies do this in his books, Good to Great and Built To Last. Important research, great reads.
But if you are like most of my readers, you are not the COO of a Fortune 50 company. You are you. You have done your best to build a great team. You care deeply about the results you have built. You care even more deeply about your team. How do you ensure all this sustains?
Over the coming days, I begin a series on Building Results That Last Beyond Your Tenure. In each post, I will share my insights, along with more questions for our Let’s Grow Leaders Community.
I look forward to our conversation on how to…
- Establish a Strong Vision
- Develop Key Behaviors
- Create Interdependent Success
- Leave a Remarkable Successor
Take a few minutes. Reflect on your stories and get ready to share. Not ready to share stories? Bring on the questions. Together we will explore the excitement, challenge and nuances of building results that last beyond tenure.