Posted on April 10, 2018

Over a decade ago two men impacted me deeply and personally. They left an impact on the lives of millions. Both men died this week. When you leave this earth (or your company), what will people say about you?

Two Different Influencers

Herb Hodges was a people-builder. His vision was to “equip the man to reach the masses.” He spent his life investing in individuals who would invest in individuals who would invest in individuals. This multiplied into millions of changed lives within one lifetime. His teachings and example forever shaped my perspective on how to build leaders and where to focus my energy.

He helped me see that the point of leadership is to help make other people successful. This is how WE become successful.

Bob Buford experienced great career success before deciding he wanted to shift his focus from success to significance. In essence, he changed his definition of success. A very gifted leader and developer of organizations, he stopped pursuing an accumulation of “more” and began investing his resources into people. He leveraged his leadership gifts to help non-profits and other organizations doing good in the world become even better. Gratefully, he documented his experience in his book “Halftime – Moving From Success to Significance.” His story helped give me the confidence to make a career change that would allow me to grow further into my calling.

He helped me see that our vision has to be bigger than success alone, but that people won’t follow you to significance if you can’t show them how to be successful.

Be Remembered For Your Impact

The prevailing wisdom of our culture says a person with a 5, 10 or 20 year plan is on top of things. That’s great, but what is your 100 year plan? At that point, you and your kids aren’t even here anymore.

Will there be a lineage of lives that have been changed for good because you invested your talents into more than a secure, enjoyable retirement?

Upon your death, will there be somebody other than a family member who will be able to write a blog about how you impacted their life trajectory?

Help Others Get What They Want

Be honest with yourself. Do you see the people in your organization as a means to help you achieve your vision or are they the end itself – lives that have been entrusted to you for 8 hours a day to care for and develop?

It doesn’t mean forgoing your vision or profitability. It does mean believing if you help people get what they want they are a lot more likely to help you get what you want.

If you want to take your leadership to the next level help the people around you figure out what they want and how to achieve it. This doesn’t mean your team becomes a free-for-all and you aren’t responsible to provide clear vision and direction. It also doesn’t mean you stop setting challenging goals and holding them accountable for their performance. It does mean you lead your people in a way that helps them discover their best self and a path to become it.

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