Leaders leading leaders… “Leadership Squared.”
I recently was at a board meeting, and the chair took a few minutes to recognize one of the directors (we’ll call her Linda). Instead of typical platitudes and nameless accolades, this chairman instead described this person in the highest possible manner. Taking some time to address the difficulties of leadership, the challenges we face today, and the issues confronting us as we lead our organizations, he finished with the ultimate compliment:
“Linda excels at the most difficult — she’s a leader of leaders.
Leading is hard, we all know that. Some of us can make it look easier than others, but we know we are just fooling the masses… it’s hard, takes work, thought, and purposeful action. Leading an organziation can be nearly thankless and fraught with issue — some trivial, some extreme. The most important thing we do isn’t managing earnings, driving new products/services to market, or even finding and developing “A” players (and I’ve weighed in on my feelings there).
The most important thing we do — defined by significance, impact, and long-term results, is leading leaders.
We set the stage, we act as the example, and we provide resources and break down obstacles. Then we get out of their way and let them lead. There is no higher purpose in leading an organization than ensuring your leaders can lead.
Help them, nurture them, even get out of their way at times… but lead your leaders. That’s how we get where we’re going.