Leadership is a complex reality that few people ever understand. I think the primary thing that people equate to leadership is results. Results seem to be the popular measure of great leaders. But, I would challenge that to the point of saying it’s a façade. Real leaders truly are not defined by results and are not responsible for the results. Leaders are not responsible for results. In fact, most true leaders never have a direct impact on the results. Results rest in the hands of the people, the team and the organization as a whole.
So what are leaders responsible for? And, what makes a great leader?
Let’s start to answer that by first defining what a leader is responsible for. There is one thing that makes a direct impact on the people and the results. There is one thing that determines if your people and team will reach their greatest potential. That one thing is culture. Leaders are solely responsible for creating a great culture! It is culture that will determine the success or failure of a leader. Great culture will unleash the greatest potential in each person in your organization.
So what creates a great culture? Simple… Relationships. Relationships are the “secret sauce” of any great organization. When your people find out you care, you pay attention to them and you’re genuinely interested in their well-being they will feel secure, loyal and passionate about the organization. Members, employees and volunteers will always give their best when they know you care more about relationships than results.
When your team experiences these things, you will experience mush less “churn” in your organization. Meaning you will have far less turn over in people. That one thing alone will unleash the potential in your organization. Why? Because the best results come from consistency. Consistency will improve your “customers” experience and interaction with your organization. When your people are consistently present and consistently passionate about your organization your “customers” will notice. That will ultimately generate the results leaders have long believed they are responsible for creating.
So what makes a great leader? A great leader is someone who makes the hardest transition of all. Great leaders are no longer the people who are “good at their job” but they are the people who now give hope, grace and vision to their team.
Your greatest product as a leader is not results it is people!
Great leaders love people, create culture that unleashes their people’s potential and celebrates the wins of others!
So, as leaders, we would all do well to take a step back and determine if we are good leaders or just people who are good at our jobs!