It’s easy to see a leader’s legacy. That legacy is the leaders that she has built while she had the responsibility to lead.
You can’t be a leader if no one is following you. But the measure of your success as a leader isn’t the raw number of people you lead. Success isn’t measured by what you’ve accomplished with and through the people you have the honor to lead. If you produce outstanding results for your company as a leader and leave it unprepared for the future, you have failed as a leader.
Your legacy is going to be the quality of the people you led, and that is most easily measured in the quality of the leaders you have helped to build.
The best leaders help others realize their potential. A leader sees something inside some of the people they serve that those people often can’t yet see for themselves. One of the ways they build new leaders is by continually giving these high potentials assignments and responsibilities that stretch them. They push the high potential to take on a little more than he is ready to take on. And each time the high potential grows into his role, the leader pushes him into something that once again tests his boundaries.
Great leaders know that they are building a leadership factory. They build leaders who in turn work to build new leaders. They pass on to the leaders they are building all that they have learned, their vision, their mission, and their values. These new leaders do the same, building the next generation of leaders behind them. Creating leaders propels the whole organization forward and helps the organization to reach its full potential–along with all of those within it.