The Sneaky Solution

Leaders want (at least) two things. We want what we’re leading to grow, and we want it to outlast us. The trouble is for things to grow, it takes more of us, and for things to outlast us it will eventually require less of us.

The solution to growth and legacy may surprise you and it’s found in three words:

Give it away.

If you want what you’re leading to outlast you, you’ll have to give it (leadership) away. If you want to grow what you’re leading past your capacity, you’ll have to give it away.

Most leaders don’t have to give leadership away. They can work a little harder, hire a few more “doers,” or lower the standard of what’s possible.

The longer you wait to give it away, the harder it gets.

If you wait to give away leadership until you have to, there will be nobody left to give it to.

All the leaders who could have led will leave before you do.

How to start giving away leadership

Here are three phases of empowering others.

Phase One: Follow me

Most of your team is probably already here. The question is: who can you move into phase two?

Phase Two: We lead together.

It will take more energy to do it together. This is the most time consuming phase, where you increase your level of input with minimal gain. That’s why so many leaders stop in this phase: they see that it costs more with less benefit.

Phase Three: They lead with others.

This is so easy to get wrong. The path to legacy isn’t to find people who can do something for you. The path to something living beyond you is to empower people who will empower others.

Help the people behind you catch a vision that it isn’t about them.

Here’s what you’ll discover: there is always more to lead. You’ll elevate your leadership when you give it away.

I learned today’s principle alongside my colleague and friend Dustin Oprea, who empowers those around him with reckless abandon.

Get fresh content about leading in your inbox every week. Subscribe today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: