Leadership Success is no Longer Measured by Money or Power
What is leadership success? Is it money, promotions, happiness, raising a family, changing the world, or advancing your industry or community? This simple question has grown complicated over the years, so it’s more important than ever to clarify what success means. Leadership success is measured by one’s complete body of work in life: nothing more, nothing less.
Historically, leadership success has been associated with money and power. The more you have, the more successful you are. This is a false idea of success. How many people do you know that have money and power that are also happy, ethical, and purposeful? Sure, there are a few - but only a few.
While I support free enterprise, it’s important to put things into perspective. There are a lot of people who are successful but not wealthy. They view success through a lens that balances their professional, personal and spiritual lives.
Leadership success is earned and its impact is timeless.
The post-2008 economy has taught all of us that greed, selfishness and short-sighted leadership aren’t sustainable. Today’s global marketplace requires better judgment from our leaders. Think of the hundreds of decisions leaders make each day. These decisions will ultimately define their body of work. Unsuccessful leaders make decisions without thinking through the consequences or considering how their decisions will reverberate throughout their professional, personal and spiritual lives. Successful leaders are always consciously aware of their body of work and the purpose that it serves. Are you?
Your journey to leadership success starts with figuring out what matters most to you and then doing something to advance that goal every day. It’s about focusing on the body of work that you are creating and making sure that it represents your leadership style and the outcomes you seek.
Unfortunately, most leaders prefer to just be what others want them to be, rather than doing the harder work of setting goals for themselves. This is why there are so many leaders that are financially well-off but aren’t connected with those around them. Some of the most powerful executives I have met are single-minded and shallow. They’re insensitive, selfish and insecure. Their identity is their company and their title; they focus only on recognition, salary and bonuses. These selfish leaders believe that they have all of the answers. While these leaders claim to understand the bigger picture, they don’t see what matters most – the people that have made them successful.
Leaders in the workplace must recalibrate their definition of success so that it’s based on the opportunities and advancements they create for others and not just themselves. Successful leadership is something that happens organically when a leader focuses on the true impact of her actions. A true leader must be mindful of his personal and spiritual goals as well as his professional goals, and take care that his decisions at work reflect not just the kind of money he wants to earn, but the kind of person he wants to be.