With this post (Equipping, part 4) we have reached the end of our series on Extreme Leadership. In light of this, I’d like to close with a topic that fully embodies the extreme Leadership definition.
In this post, we want to look at Equipping by Replacing Yourself.
For our purposes, Replacing Yourself simply means that you equip and train someone else to fully operate in your role so that you are no longer needed. If you are new to the leadership journey, you may wonder if I’ve lost my mind. Why would anyone want to make themselves expendable–on purpose?
To answer that question, we must first consider that this is extreme leadership, not average leadership. It is normal (read: average) to look out for our own interest. It is average to preserve our own interests before we begin to add value to others. It is average to ask “what’s in it for me?”. It is no surprise then when John C. Maxwell says that 95% of leaders do not equip or train their replacement. I’d prefer to be in the top 5%–how about you?
Equipping someone to replace you checks all of the boxes for extreme leadership. Let’s look at each one in turn:
Selfless, Courageous Influence that inspires Lasting Greatness in others.
Training someone well enough to ably replace you requires a special level of selflessness. It is perfectly normal to hope that people will miss us when we are gone, even if that realization only comes when our replacement’s performance doesn’t quite measure up to ours. But a selfless leader realizes that it is not about them. They realize that they can actually separate themselves even more by being willing to equip someone else to do the job as well as–or perhaps better than–themselves.
It takes real courage to provide this level of extraordinary value with no guarantee that it will pay practical dividends and the very real possibility that it could actually make us expendable in our current position! It takes courage to maintain this mindset and attitude when it a near-guarantee that those around you won’t share it or even understand it. It takes courage to trust that you will always be valuable because of this rare skillset.
Inspiring Lasting Greatness
Getting to this level of leadership is hard work, but if you reach it, people will notice. Think of the person you are mentoring, equipping and training to take your place. It will be obvious to them after a while that you are not holding back, you aren’t setting them up to fail, that you are indeed giving them every tool in your toolbox. This will inspire them in a way they’re not likely to soon forget. It will likely alter the way they themselves lead. Selfless, courageous leadership is the sort that leaves a legacy.It is average to ask 'what's in it for me?' I don't want to be average. Do you? Click To Tweet
How well are you preparing yourself for this equipping task? What will it take in your situation to properly and effectively prepare someone else to take your place? Consider the answers to these questions. They will likely require some level of adjustment from your current course.
I hope you will have the courage to choose the harder path of being an Extreme Leader. I hope you have been inspired by this series. I hope that you will choose leave a legacy of positive impact on those around you… and I hope that you will join us for the next series, where we will explore Extraordinary Success!