Leaders Who Leave A Legacy
"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45
What kind of people make a lasting influence and impact? What often comes to mind are the big personalities, dynamic communicators or charismatic leaders. This is understandable. These kinds of people often naturally draw attention to themselves achieving a growing number of fans, fame and followers. But the mistake is made in looking at short-lived sensation of a few years rather than a lasting legacy built on a life time. The fact is that people who have the greatest influence do not lead from personality but purpose. These kinds of people have a multiplying influence which goes beyond them. These kinds of people can be called multiplying or legacy leaders.
These types of leaders possess two core characteristics which they learn to hold in tension: a growing humility mixed with unbreakable resolve.
Humility + Resolve= Multiplying Influence
Those with a multiplying influence possess the seemingly contradictory qualities of modesty and determination, self-effacing quietness and fearless drive. These qualities allow them to set aside ego and be laser focused on the people, business, organization, ministry or movement they steer.
Jim Collins, who calls these leaders Level 5 Leaders (another name for multiplying leaders), says:
“They are humble and look out the window to apportion credit—even undue credit—to factors outside themselves. If they can’t find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck. At the same time, they look in the mirror to assign responsibility, never citing bad luck or external factors when things go poorly.”
These leaders have a fierce resolve. They will keep moving forward no matter what life throws at them. There is an unwavering drive, but it is not for themselves but for those they lead. They are more motivated by the success of others rather than their own success because they know that the key to lasting influence is the legacy that lives beyond them.
Multiplying leaders are more plow horse than show horse. Jesus likened the work of his followers as one “who put his hand to the plow.” (Luke 9:62) Putting the hand to the plow means to take on an unrelenting focus. This idea of the plow can be turned into an acronym: Patience, Legacy, Outward, and Work.
They focus on patience knowing that leadership requires consistent and ongoing investment for continued growth.
They focus on legacy knowing that lasting influence comes from elevating the next generation.
They focus outward knowing that their leadership is about the effectiveness of others.
They focus on work knowing they need a strong bias toward action and problem solving.
Jesus and Multiplication
The very heart of a multiplying leader was seen and lived out in Jesus. The Savior taught multiplication is at the heart of his discipleship strategy. (Mark 4:20) He focused on the work that the Father had given him to do by laying down his life for and elevating others. He did this to the point of paying the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. (Philippians 2:1-11)
What do you want to be said at your eulogy?
What do you want to build that is sustainable once you are gone?
What do you need to change to be a multiplying leader?