The ladder to leadership can be long. You work through the ranks, climbing each step, then finally come to a point where there is nowhere else to go but away from the organization. Then you know you’ve reached the top.
I went to the top of the Washington Monument on my eighth grade field trip. There was a window in the building at the top that allowed a view of the world below. The one thing I remember is that the space at the top seemed like the inside of a sardine can.
It’s like that at the top of any organization. There aren’t as many chiefs as there are Indians. Everyone can’t tell the rest what to do. Imagine a world of roads with no traffic lights. If we all did what we thought was right for ourselves, what kind of world would it be? That attitude will never get you to the top of the troop.
So what do you do when you get there? What does it look like to be the leader at the pinnacle?
Here’s what it looks like from the outside. People follow you not because you have the role. They don’t just follow you because you invested in building a relationship with them, though you may have. You have to be able to get things done, though that alone is not enough. If you can develop others, that will get you close to the top, but will fall a bit short. You’ll know you’re a leader at the top of your game when people follow you because of who you are and what you represent. That means you represent integrity at its utmost. People follow you because they believe in your cause without reservations.
John Maxwell says few of us ever reach this point. But that is no reason not to strive for it. Now that you know what such a leader looks like, what is it that they do most?
Pinnacle leaders not only develop people to be their best, they train them to do the same for others. When you’re at this level, you’re focused on building a framework that will outlive you. Then your impact can be felt for generations to come.
The bar is high. But with experience, education, and desire, any leader can reach the top. Will you accept the challenge and make the journey?