Leaders. Look Forward.

History has not been kind to leaders. Many we that we might claim to be successful (outside the context of our morals) were autocratic and aggressive: Lenin, Alexander the Great, Mao Tse Tung. And often the rewards of leadership are severe such as in the case of Ghandi, JFK or Lincoln.

So if we cannot look to history what does the modern leader look like?

For one, they should always themselves and their organization be looking toward the future. First and foremost, the leader needs to realize his role is never permanent. Look at the UK Football Champion ship s an example, managers often last less than a year one a single team.

A good leader is always building a succession of talent—really a leader’s job is to prepare the path forward and teach those who will one day lead.

But this isn’t just planning for the future. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, surround yourself with smart people and let them tell you what to do. Recognize these people and allow them to move the organization forward while you facilitate their talent.

These smart people need the infrastructure provided by the organization and the ability of the leader to bring each expert together to solve problems and get projects done. They should see that current leadership is preparing future roles for them.