At some point developing a leadership culture has to include passing the torch on to the next generation of leaders. When this happens you have a constant pipeline of leaders ready, willing and able to assume leadership positions within your organization when they become available. What I love about this is that you don’t have to train these people on your culture, expectations, or way of doing things-it’s what they’ve lived and breathed every day!
Expand Your Influence
Developing leaders during her career has enabled Annie to greatly expand her influence. She is an amazing executive, speaker, coach and person, but she is still only one person, who can only be in one place at one time. Yet, with me and Carrie (and the countless others she has mentored and developed) her influence is multiplied over and over again. She may be in Southern California, but if I’m in Baltimore giving a talk-a little bit of her is there too.
You can do the same thing! As you develop entry-level associates who become assistant managers and go on to become managers and regional managers, vice presidents and beyond, your influence is carried to places you could never reach on your own! Isn’t that cool?
When people in your company see that there really is room to grow, that hard work and performance are rewarded, when they know that they have a chance to move up, your organizational morale can’t help but increase. I once worked for someone who never completed her college degree (she came close) and I’ve often said that she’s forgotten more than I’ve learned. Knowing that she started out like I did and worked her way up, even without some of the paper credentials, was inspiring to me and I always looked up to her. I knew that if she could do it...I could too...and that was huge.
Pass the Torch
Can you imagine if the Olympic Committee decided to have just one runner carry the torch from Athens to wherever the games are being held? Seriously-how silly would that be? The same is true for your company...you can’t succeed for a long period of time without your own torchbearers running the race.
Someone has to pass the torch to your people...will it be you?