It has been said,
You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.
(Professional baseball manager Gene Mauch).
I disagree strongly.
The mark of a truly great leader is that they can prepare those who come after them to achieve more than they ever could. I am reminded of the great New Zealand Olympic swimming coach Duncan Laing who coached Danyon Loader to two Olympic gold medals. Duncan never won an Olympic swimming medal himself. If that saying by Mauch was correct then that feat would have never been achieved.
For there to be growth there has to be someone who is prepared to let go of their own desires and goals so to release others to achieve greater goals.
As a significant leader you can and must prepare others to go beyond where you can go. The future of your organisation is at risk if you cannot.
Let go of the ego driven need for power and control, for they will only do you harm and start investing in giving others the skills of leadership by letting them lead. Catch them when they fall, cheer them on when they achieve goals; and when they are ready, relinquish control to them. Step back and cheer them on knowing those who you have led will go far beyond where you have gone.
Help others lead into the future.
Find other articles on leadership here TheWaterside Leadership
Be prepared to go in the wrong direction to get to you ultimate goal.
The path to achieve vision is rarely straight. Sometimes it may be that we may appear to go in different directions to avoid obstacles, but it is important to keep the big picture.
Imagine, for a moment, that you wish to travel to the town hall in the next city. You are sitting at your desk in an office somewhere. Is it possible to travel in a direct straight line to the destination? at some stage you will need to move in the opposite direction because the door of your office might not face the right way, you may have to walk to your car, or a bus stop. The roads might wind around hills and valleys and even have to make detours.
So it is in achieving great goals. to build a tall building you need to first dig a deep hole.
Don’t be discouraged when it appears you are going the wrong way, check your map, your business plans, blue prints, vision documents or strategic plans. and see the big picture of what you have set as a vision.
Take time out every now and then to get your bearings, check your plans, and keep moving onwards.
Sometimes achieving your vision means going backwards.
(If you are not sure what your vision is then read Unlocking Your Vision.)
Paul S Allen