Millennials will not judge your leadership ability by how high you get or how many people you lead, but by the wake you leave. The kind of organization that people work for will become increasingly more important than the work they do and who they follow. This is not just about how you got to your position of leadership, but the effects you made on your way there. Take an honest look at the road you travelled and all the people you impacted. Did you leave a wake of dysfunction? You can tell if people you led only tell you what you want to hear. You can tell if you tendency is to avoid conflict. You can tell if the people you led always seem to be scrambling rather than having focus. You can tell if the people you led where telling you more about how much work they have to do rather than the results of their work. You can tell if you were more concerned about advancing your career rather than helping those you led.
Here’s the thing, it’s hard to tell by simply looking in the mirror, so if you have the courage, go and ask the people you led, “was my leadership dysfunctional?” Seriously, go and ask and find out. If you don’t want to, well, there’s your answer to the kind of leader you really are.
Do you want to stop leaving a wake of dysfunction? Then care about the people you lead just as much as you care about yourself .