April 18, 2013 Philip J.W. Smith & Co.

Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Perfecting Leadership

I can’t tell you why I hadn’t understood this before, but I only recently discovered that it is impossible for me to be the perfect leader to any given organization.

Dying to know why!?

It’s because there is no such thing as the perfect leader.

In the executive recruitment sector, I often sense that upon the realization that a change in leadership needs to occur due to a career transition, organizational restructuring, or one’s retirement, boards or those among the C-Suite see this as an opportunity to finally secure the perfect leader to guide their organization.

To most, the perfect leader would:

  • be a visionary who is able to dream big;
  • be a strong administrator who is able to see all of the little steps to take to achieve the big dream;
  • be a personable leader who encourages and truly cares for staff and volunteers as they work together to achieve the dream;
  • be hands-on in both big and small initiatives, leading by example both behind the scenes and in public; and
  • be an exemplary manager of both staff and personal tasks, therefore taking the burden of responsibility off of others.

Wow. When I put it out there like that who wouldn’t want a leader with a resume highlighting the above skill set?!

Truth is, the perfect leader does not exist – at least not in one single person.

You can, however, have a team of leaders who all strongly possess one or two of the above skill sets. Together, a small group of such highly skilled individuals creates an entity which can then be considered the perfect leadership team, possessing all of the characteristics needed to truly drive your non-profit or charity to reach its goals.

Furthermore, forming a purposeful and empowered leadership team ensures that upon your transition out of an organization or business, you not only leave a legacy, but leave behind a group of individuals who will ensure your legacy lives on.

Or, you could try and do it all on your own, burnout, and leave behind a mess.

At least you have a choice.

Related Posts:

Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Finishing Well
Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Lowering the Overhead
Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Succession Planning
Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess: Mentoring Leaders

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