Too many leaders today are worried about measuring their success. And, it’s no wonder considering the pressure they face from their teams, families, communities, stakeholders, the media and more. It is easy to point to your company’s stock price or latest major project as metrics in your success, but do those things really matter in the long run? The day you leave that company, it is still going to have a stock price, and it might even go up the week of your exit.
The good news is that this is not how your legacy will be measured.
If you want to have a real impact, the question to ask yourself is this: What are you most proud of as a leader that is personal and real, something that can’t be diminished with a decision or vote from inside a closed-door meeting?
For me, the answer is easy. It’s all about impacting people. People who will hold you in their hearts. For me, these people fall into two groups:
1. People who will never know that I existed.
By contributing to a cause or making a donation anonymously, I feel awesome that I did something positive, knowing that I didn’t do it for the credit. To me, there is something incredible about being able to impact people’s lives who I will never meet in ways I may never know about.
2. The people whom I can help achieve their dreams.
Sometimes, these are the people on our teams we can mentor and support through their careers. Right now, I have a friend who is in a career transition. It has been a great gift to be able to talk to him on a regular basis and check in on how he’s doing. He is close to finding a fantastic job, and I know he is going to impact people’s lives in a big way throughout his leadership path. But, helping others achieve their dreams doesn’t always have to mean career dreams. I have friends who have decided to be stay-at-home moms and dads, and their happiness is incredible. I am thrilled I can support them in these dream decisions.
Whether you have the ability to impact the lives of millions or you change the life of one person, success as a leader should be measured by these kinds of meaningful intangibles, not the closing price of your stock today.
Question: How do you measure your success as a leader? How are you measuring up?