Inside many of us who aspire to lead is a burning desire to make a difference. We’re not satisfied with sitting on the sidelines or waiting for someone to tell us what to do. We may not get it right but we’ll be damned if we’re going to go down without a fight. In the immortal words of Def Leppard we’d rather “burn out than fade away”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about this might be a good place to stop reading this post. If you do, then you can already feel the emotion building in your chest.
We enter this profession, sometimes as a calling, often unexpectedly. Once we’re in we’re hooked. Then the real work begins. We begin to understand the values that will define our leadership. We learn hard lessons and fight through failures. Each experience shapes our character; bending us toward our destiny. If we endure, we may experience brief passages of external success or reward but for most of us the real treasure is in the belief that we have done some good in the world that will carry on when we are gone. The hope that somehow we’ve left an impression in the lives of others. That our influence made a difference.
Every story will come to an end. Sometimes in our timing and sometimes before we expected and beyond our control. When the story ends what do you want people to remember? What are the words, experiences and images you will have impressed in the minds of those you have been gifted to serve?
The human impact of your leadership is your leadership ROI, (Return on Influence).