If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you started your business with a great idea and did everything yourself. You generated sales, delivered your products or services, handled the finances, managed customer service and emptied the wastebaskets. As your business grew, did you fully remove yourself from most of these functions, replacing yourself with a more energetic, competent version of yourself? Did you begin with those things you weren’t good at and didn’t enjoy, or happened to be good at and didn’t enjoy? Did you “let go” once the new person was in place and established their competence?
Millennials get a bad rap, but are they really that different from any other generation of people?
When I stopped to think about the common millennial characteristics we hear about so often, I realized how many of those same traits are also prevalent among entrepreneurs. How we outwardly demonstrate these traits may look different, but at the core our values are shared. I believe this is an opportunity for tremendous results if managed from a place of shared values and effective communication.
This is part two of a two-part series exploring what it means to develop leaders throughout your entire organization. See part one here.
You’ve begun to produce a leadership legacy when your leaders are producing other leaders. If you’ve guided your leaders on your own team well, they will do this independently of you – if they still need your help guiding their team, your work isn’t done yet.
When you start to see that third-generation leader rise, you know you’re almost there. You’ve created a leader equal to or better than yourself who has created a leader who is in turn equal to or better than they are. This allows everyone to rise as the company wins.
If you own a business or are on the leadership team of a business, you’re tasked with strategically defining what the future of your business will look like. Who will lead it into the future as you and your leadership team think of future transitions? How will you grow? The answer to these questions begins with developing others and eventually working yourself out of a job.
As a Minnesota resident, I often find myself dreaming of warm climates this time of year. The temperature hovers around freezing and I can picture the arid deserts of Arizona or the lush rainforests of Hawaii. Both climates offer respite from the Minnesota winter, but they are decidedly different from one another in flora and fauna. A cactus can’t survive in the rainforest, and ferns can’t grow in the desert.
You wouldn’t think companies are similar to plants, but like a fern in the desert, not all people will thrive in your culture.