Many will tell us that leadership is all about achieving the objective, accomplishing the goal, reaching the summit. But, I think this kind of thinking and writing confuses what leadership is and what it’s about.
The real test of leadership, the real measure of success is positive impact on others and not improving the balance sheet or the P&L. In fact, a leader can miss business objectives by a little or a lot and still have his/her name recorded in the Hall of Fame. At the same time, a manager/executive can achieve wild increases in the value of a company and, alas, find their name written in the basement restroom because they have totally missed the thing that matters.
Leaders are entrusted with the lives and welfare of those who enroll in their following, their procession, their parade. They exist to serve and develop those they lead. It is not for us to get rich, to gain fame, to be praised, or to be obeyed. Leaders lay that fluff aside for something much greater.
What matters in leadership is the answer to this question: whose lives are better because of you and in what ways?
Nothing more and nothing less.