Many leaders have asked how do you define success? Obviously, there are a myriad of right answers as to what makes a leader successful. It could be meeting objectives, goals, metrics, market share, profit or mission accomplishment. But the real question is what is more important…being successful or being significant? Coach Lou Holtz once stated “Coaching gives one a chance to be successful as well as significant. The difference between those two is that when you die, your success comes to an end. When you are significant, you continue to help others be successful long after you are gone. Significance lasts many lifetimes. That is why people teach, why people lead and why people coach.” When you are significant in the lives of those you lead, your success will go with them and remain long after you move on…this is the goal leaders should strive for.
Being significant means having a large and important influence on others. To be significant, you must CARE….be a Communicator, be Active, be Respectful, and be Encouraging!
Be a Communicator with those you lead. Tell them what you believe and the values important to you. Talk with them about your successes but more importantly don’t be afraid to share with them your failures as well. Communication requires you to listen…listen to what is important in their careers and lives. Listen to their personal story and understand how their personal life is going.
Be an Active leader. Get out! Get out of the office or from behind your desk. Interact with your people and show you are approachable. Go engage them where they work. People don’t care who you are, they want you to know who they are.
Be Respectful of all your followers. Respect their culture, their difference of opinion, their different experiences, their different attitudes and their different viewpoints.
Be an Encouraging leader. Show your people how much you enjoy being part of their team. How much you enjoy what the organization is getting done and the problems they are solving. Smile, laugh and be enthusiastic about what you do. A leader’s job is to encourage everyone on the team to reach their potential!
If we are significant to those we lead, we will be successful but more importantly that success will live on in them long after we leave the organization.