Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. ~Jack Welch
Before we are leaders, we are allowed to focus on our self and our own growth. Our very success as an individual is bounded only by our ability to grow, grow our knowledge, develop our abilities, hone those behaviors that make us successful, to win. We get used to the accolades and, frequently, those accolades are the drug that spurs us on to more success. Often times we become addicted to being successful and need the high from success to feel good about ourselves. This can make us full of ourselves. Frequently success comes at the expense of others, if someone wins it means someone also lost, and this can lead to us becoming selfish individuals.
Once you are put in charge of people, given the task of leading people, the person in the leadership role must change focus from the focus they held while being the doer. Gone are the days when you could be the hero and save the day and receive the accolades. When you are the leader, your job changes from doing yourself to doing through others. To do through others requires leadership. To do through others requires that the other’s must be the focus of the leader. To be successful at doing through others means growing the others to be able to handle and conquer bigger challenges. To be successful as a leader means growing your people such that they have the ability to surpass you in the organization. To be successful at doing through others means the people being led must get the accolades. Not being the recipient of the accolades can be very hard on someone used to the praise for a good job, used to the glory that comes from winning.
I believe many leaders fail because they need the limelight, need the high that comes from receiving the accolades, need to feel they are in control. I believe many leaders are ineffective because they cannot give the glory to the people they lead. I believe many leaders fail as leaders because they care more about themselves than the people they lead. I believe many leaders stunt their growth as leaders because they are too selfish to be effective leaders. I believe these people forfeit the right be placed in positions of leadership.