next generation leadership seatEvery leader wants to be remembered for the impact they made. Great leaders want to leave the world a better place than they found it. The best leaders want to leave a legacy that creates a lasting impact for generations to come.

One of the greatest things a leader can do to maximize his or her influence is to invest in future leaders. Becoming a leader that leaves a lasting impact requires the desire to help others accomplish even greater things.

Leaders who care about helping the next generation accomplish greater things understand that advice and wisdom can only go so far. Experience is the best teacher.

Providing a Seat vs. Giving Up Your Seat

Here’s a principle that separates leaders who are remembered for the impact they made and leaders who create a listing impact:

“There is a difference between providing a seat at the table and giving up your own seat for the next generation.”

Truitt Cathy, Larry Ellison, and Sam Walton are all leaders who understood this principle.

There are many leaders who don’t spend any time or energy investing in the next generation. They don’t even let them have a seat at the table. There are some leaders that allow the next generation to have a presence, but aren’t willing to give up any control.  And then there are a few select leaders who realize the potential a next generation leader has and voluntarily decides to give up their seat on a particular project or decision.

These are the leaders who create a ripple effect into the lives of potential leaders for generations to come. They don’t just leave the world a better place; they become a catalyst for significant and sustainable change.

Help the Next Generation Accomplish Greater Things by Giving Up Your Seat

Here are a few characteristics of “giving up your seat” leadership:

  • Leaders who create opportunities for their staff to spearhead projects or initiative.
  • Leaders who don’t always give the answer, but help team members reach their own conclusion.
  • Leaders who create a safe environment where failure isn’t final.
  • Leaders who want their teams to be better when they leave than when they arrive.
  • Leaders who care more about seeing their team succeed than they are worried about losing their own leadership role.

“Giving up your seat” means giving up some control, but not complete control. My hope is that you, whether you’re a seasoned leader or just starting out, would embrace this principle and decide to “give up your seat” when appropriate to create a long-lasting impact and legacy.

How have you seen this “give up your seat” leadership principle embraced? Have any personal experiences?