Dr. Howard G. Hendricks, who died at age 89 this past February, remains the single most important mentor and teacher in my life. One day in class while I was attending Dallas Theological Seminary, “Prof” Hendricks made a statement that has permeated everything I do when it comes to leading and developing a team.
“Leadership is not just about what you are doing, but what others are doing as a result of what you do.”
Take a moment to ask and answer this simple question: “How am I doing as a leader?”
Don’t rush this process. The purpose of this question is not to get an up or down superficial answer. Rather, I want to invite you into a life-long process of looking at what leadership really means. Leadership has virtually nothing to do with a position or title. It has everything to do with being authentic, open, vulnerable and accessible to the people around you.
In our brand of business, in our culture of encouragement we call the Juice Plus+ Virtual Franchise, this leadership question comes out differently than most would expect.
“How am I doing?”
The answer is found by watching the people we lead. Do they show up? Do they teach others? Do they take care of their Preferred Customers? Do they cope well with disappointments or disagreeable people? Are they teachable and hungry to learn? Have they written down their goals? Do the people on their teams trust and respect theirleadership?
Viewing leadership in this way is a big leap for many of us. We tend to measure our success as leaders by what we what we have done as an individual. I was at least six years into my career with NSA/Juice Plus+ before my eyes were opened. After some significant initial success, my organization was stagnating and shrinking. I almost quit. It was at that low point I remembered the words of Professor Hendricks. After re-connecting with this principle of leadership, I started to change. And, when I changed, everything and everyone around me started to change.
None of us will remember when our check goes over $1,000 a month or $10,000 a month or more. What we will remember are the people following us. The people who were watching and waiting to see how we would lead, encourage and help them. We will always remember the people we helped to achieve a better Juice Plus+ career because of our consistency, our example, and our interest in them. And, they will remember us because of our love and acceptance, and the way we listened to and supported them.
Whenever we get confused about how we are doing as leaders, all we need to do is take a look at the people who are following us. Then, we will know the answer.