A conversation with a friend went like this:
"Josh, I just wish my team would produce better. Work better together."
I replied, "Are you finding areas where they shine? Are you refining the raw talent you see in them?"
He then said, "Not really...because then they'd be better than me" and then proceeded to chuckle.
When I asked him if he was serious, he went a little white in the face.
Far too often, I see leaders who are afraid of completing the transformation in others from follower to leader because of their own ego. They fear that what they are and who they leave behind won't shine if those around them are better than themselves. A good leader develops better leaders than the leader leading them.
Holding back your team's ability in fear of them becoming better than you is like giving birth to a child who's hands are tied behind their back. Every now and then, I come across leaders who see a vast amount of raw talent within their teammates, and they never fully develop that person in fear that they might actually become better than the person leading the team.
But this also applies to us as individuals: I'm sure there's been a time in your life when you've thought about what you're going to leave behind when you leave this earth. Legacy-talk is kinda a big deal among millennials right now. It's all about what you're going to have to show when you're six feet under ground.
I don't know about you, but that seems kinda selfish.
The reason why is because personal legacies are selfish.
A personal legacy is like a tree that doesn't bear any fruit; even though it might be a mighty oak tree, it will die with no seeds to produce a grand forest. Your legacy should be one that grows those around you for generations to come, not just your name for two years after you are dead.
Shaping leaders is a passion of mine. I’m a pastor in San Francisco, and my personal role to lead the culture of worship in our church. This means I primarily lead our worship and music teams. However, my role is not to simply lead worship; as a matter of fact, I find success when I lead less. If I am leading less, that means that I am building leaders around me that can lead better than myself.
In this chapter, we’re going to take time looking at the legacy you will leave, both personal and communal. We’ll focus on what we are creating, and what impact those things will have on people once we are gone, but more importantly, we’re going to step away from looking at our individual artistry and focus on those makers who look to you for inspiration and mentoring.
I want to challenge you to break the mirror in front of you and see those in front of it. When you are long gone from this earth, those who you grow will invest the knowledge you have invested in them to their teammates. That is a legacy that will spread like wildfire.
If invest a legacy inside of people, your legacy will always be transparent; because what they create may have your foundation to their work, but you as a person will be nonexistent. You’ll be invisible. I feel like that’s how it should be. I don’t want copycats of me. I want people to take what I know and make it their own.
During the day today, read sections of Psalm 119. Listen to this prayer that David is pouring out before Jesus. And while you do that, ask yourself, “how can I relay this same time type of passion to other people in my life?”
Your ceiling is the next generations floor. Build well.