What is the return on investment on your leadership? I encourage you to ponder this for a moment. Some may think it isn’t visible, but good and bad leadership both leave a trail.
Your trail can be thought of as your leadership influence, or your Leadership Return on Investment. Who are some of the best leaders you know, and what can you observe of their Leadership ROI?
I remember one of my first clients back in the late ‘80s when I started my consulting practice. Even though his company was small, the highly creative and hardworking founder knew his primary focus was his people. In fact, he made a point of having a one-on-one with each of the key members of his small team (five people at the time, of his total employee count of thirteen). He would pull out a folder he created for each and made notes from his weekly conversations. He was always making notes to himself for those things that were important.
He wasn’t particularly structured in the meetings – he just wanted to know how people were doing, what was on their minds? They would end up talking about whatever came up.
Here is what I saw happen (his Leadership ROI):
- Each of his key people stayed with him for years.
- The company reached a fast-paced season of growth, from about 50 to almost a hundred employees in a rather short time, and the company didn’t seem to lose a beat.
- I watched each of his leaders align around a shared vision and values.
- Together they weathered some difficult times successfully.
- Their clients were loyal and provided repeat business.
- Their brand and reputation was strong.
- The founder / owner sold the business to a very large company, and everyone seemed happy and made out well.
- Many years later, the people he invested in have moved on to be leaders in other areas, having an influence as they experienced themselves.
Your Leadership ROI can be measured. Sometimes in the financial numbers of your business, sometimes in the people you touch, sometimes in the people who continue to buy from you.
For more on your Leadership ROI, read about what other leaders say are the most important competencies.
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