I recently sat in on a meeting with a CEO and his executive team to get an update on a critical project one of the executives was leading.
Vince Molinaro is a speaker, consultant, executive at Lee Hecht Harrison, and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Leadership Contract, now in its second edition.
Early in my career, I had the advantage of being part of a business-networking group with some older, very experienced business leaders who were able to share with me the secrets of their success. After one event with this group, a few of us went to grab some drinks and continue the discussion. Doug, who was responsible for leading operations at a company, said that he showed up every day with one simply focus in mind: to make himself irrelevant.
In my experience, I also find too many leaders don’t work to make themselves irrelevant. Ultimately, however, making everyone in your organization wholly dependant on you is not effective over the long term. First, you need to build the capacity of those around you so that they can do your job if you need to move on to something else. Third, you need to be driven by the idea of always finding new ways to create value for your organization. I seem to be spending more time these days chatting with my clients about their frontline leaders. It's important for all leaders to understand that it’s actually in tough times when leadership is really tested. I have found that truly great leaders always have a clear leadership formula for success that guides how they lead the companies they run. This past week, while attending a global conference hosted at Disney World in Orlando, I got a glimpse into a large, complex organization that many people don’t see. We all know that when you want to get someone’s attention in a text or email, YOU USE ALL-CAPS.

One of the primary responsibilities of all leaders is to ensure that they build consistently high-performing teams.
I’ve been in many meetings where at some point the subject of Millennials comes up and the commentary is built on the same tired, old stereotypes and cliches.
Many times in leadership development programs, participants have cried when they retell stories of being bullied and even abused by bad bosses.
What I immediately found was that these leaders were very open and eager to get feedback when it was positive in nature. On June 15, Evernote CEO Phil Libin revealed he was stepping down and his company was looking for a new leader. In this case, Libin seems to be a pretty humble guy who understood what his company needed next. Evernote is an online note-keeping service and offers a number of free and paid productivity tools.
Do Libin’s actions suggest that he no longer has what it takes to be a strong leader? The world of business is just too dynamic and uncertain today for any one leader to always have all the answers. Vince Molinaro is the Global Managing Director of Strategic Solutions at Lee Hecht Harrison. Many participants shared that they hadn’t fully realized how much their organizations were enabling mediocrity. All cheerleaders must fulfill all the requirements that are outlined in the player contract.
It was at this social gathering that I gained one of the most important observations about successful leaders.
He went on to explain that the best way he learned to add value as a leader, to grow at a personal level, while growing members of his team was to have a relentless focus on becoming irrelevant.

Instead, they focus on maintaining an iron grip on as many aspects of their roles as they can.
Once they are able to do your job, it can free you up to tackle new challenges and opportunities.
It’s a demanding job and requires real confidence and courage if you are ultimately going to be successful. We need to muster the courage to take action knowing that we won’t get it right 100% of the time.
At one time, Evernote was valued at more than $1 billion but its valuation and performance have lagged in recent years.
Admitting they are not good at something just isn’t possible given how they are wired.
I believe increasingly it will be seen as a sign of real strength when leaders can make the kind of moves like Libin has made. He is also the author of "The Leadership Contract" – a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.
You need the confidence to believe in yourself and in the fact that your organization will give you new challenges to take on. Vince has spent more than 20 years as an adviser to boards and senior executives looking to improve leadership in their organizations.

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