As a business owner and a leader, there are so many areas I have to excel at in order to consider myself a success. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing a good job and if I am meeting my responsibilities to the people and the organization. Do you ever have those questions?
One way a person can self-evaluate their leadership is by assessing what I consider three primary responsibilities of every leader.
Ask yourself daily how you are doing in these three areas.
First, Am Taking My Team Somewhere Great?
This is about creating amazing visions and successfully navigating and leading people there.
For your organization – Are you dreaming so big that great people will want to join you on the journey? Dare to be innovative. Be the kind of leader that will dream of the next Facebook, Apple, Amazon, or Google. Take us forward. Take us higher. Inspire us with the size and depth of your vision.
For your team – Don’t just be another team. Insist that yours go somewhere great. Maybe you can become the most customer friendly team, or the most giving team, or the most helpful team.
For your family – As a parent (or a child), I want to ask you, what is that awesome dream you have for your family? One of my closest friends recently started a non-profit organization that her family will lead as a unit. Wow…way to impact a family! Maybe you want to adopt children in Africa and send them care packages as a family, or maybe you want your family to visit every presidential library and together author a book about that experience. Whatever it is, dream big.
Here it is simply… When people ask me, “where are you taking your team?” My answer should make them think, Oh, wow! I want to go with you.
Second, Am I Empowering My People to Be Someone Great?
I am not impressed whatsoever with leaders who achieve the big profits and lofty goals if their people are diminished and disregarded. If people do not flourish in their individual gifts and talents within an organization, the leadership has failed in what I consider a key goal of leadership.
As a leader, I want the people who cross my path to be forever changed in a positive way. I want them to become more passionate, more hopeful, more inspired. I want them to feel empowered, equipped, and on fire. I want them to believe in themselves because I believe in them.
Sometimes I do not achieve that because I become empty or temporarily unable to see beyond myself. Remember that you cannot get people on fire if yours has dimmed. You cannot help people grow, if you are not. Just imagine if by the end of your career (or your life), you know that you have touched the individual lives of those you led in a powerful way because of the extent of your love for them and degree of investment you made in them.
Third, Is My Organization Delivering Something Great?
Now that you’re taking your organization to great places with great people, don’t neglect to deliver on the core mission and goals your organization has set forth. If you are a business, then are you making and exceeding the profits projected? Are you reaching the customers in the way you had envisioned?
If you lead a non-profit organization, are you helping the people you need to help? If you are a parent, are your kids well behaved, well nourished, and well provided for?
It is not enough to lead toward a great dream and to have flourishing people. As leaders we must excel in, achieve, and exceed the goals that we are entrusted to deliver.
So regardless of your field, the most important goals of a leader are to:
- Take your team someplace amazing and inspiring.
- See to it that your people excel in the game of life not just at in their job at work.
- Deliver on the bottom line, the goals, and the key mission of the group you are leading.
How are you doing in these areas?
Wes Saade, M.D.
For Further Reading: