There is a lot of material being written about succession, leadership pipelines, training up the next generation of leaders, mentoring younger leaders, developing and building into the “up and comers.”
Leaders have a responsibility to ask the question:
Who can I build into?
It is not enough to have a title or be a leader in practice. We must build into others and train them up. We should actively be working toward developing our own replacement. A healthy organization has a pipeline of leaders at every level. Mark Miller writes about this is one of his most recent books, Leaders Made Here: Building a Leadership Culture.
All of these words, in the context of a leader, can and should mean bringing the next generation of leaders along as you go.
We should always be looking for ways to empower skills and abilities in others. Always be on the lookout for someone who can do what we can, but maybe even a little better, or someone we can give ownership to in something to help them grow in an area.
Leaders are givers.
We have to be okay with giving away authority and responsibility.
Allow others to come alongside you on the leadership journey. Certainly there are decisions only the leader in the highest position can make. But with every leadership decision we can be communicating to those coming along why we made the decision we did, how we came to understand that as the best course of action, why that person was hired or fired, etc.
Bring others along on the journey.