In response to a recent Leadership Notes article, my friend Sean Meenan replied as follows:
“5 simple words... leadership for dummies, ‘Inspire to lead or retire.’"
James Kouzes and Barry Posner do a good job of unpacking this a bit further in their book, A Leader’s Legacy. The following excerpt spells out the above principle in more specific terms:
“Exemplary leaders are interested more in others success than in their own. Their greatest achievements are the triumphs of those they serve. Knowing they have made a difference in other’s lives is what motivates their own, giving leaders the strength to endure the hardships, struggles, and inevitable sacrifices required to achieve great things. Leaders who see their role as serving others leave the most lasting legacies.”
The main idea in this discussion leads to a question for those who lead, “As a leader, who am I inspiring to lead?” The wise leader will always have one or more people they are seeking to inspire; to encourage; someone they are trying to empower; to encourage to become everything they were meant to be.
Well said, Sean. We would all do well to either "Inspire to lead… or retire." Thanks for the input!