By Neil Phillips.
Nearly every hard-driving leader I’ve ever met has picked a singular goal for themselves. You want to get product out the door; you want to have a smooth production system; you want to create a business that stands the model on its head. You want to make your mark.
What if you picked the wrong goal? Making your mark is not what you do during your lifetime or even your business career. What happens to your drive if you say:
My job is to build bench strength. I need more people ready to step up and fill leadership roles. This is what Jack Welch and G.E. did for leadership in the 80’s. Google is arguably doing the same with their business model.
My job is to find my successor. When your work is to create the possibilities for the next generation, what you are doing for the business on any given day takes a back seat. Your job isn’t about product; it’s about people. It isn’t about today; it’s about tomorrow.
My job is coaching tomorrow’s leader. You can’t tell your future leaders what to do. You can only prepare them. You can coach and mentor as a way to support them to see their capacity.
Which goal do you prefer: today’s or tomorrow’s? Think about your team and then think about your legacy. What happens if your job is to build people and let them build their business? Brownie Wise once said that is the singular goal in direct sales.
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