Here’s a number for you. Can you guess what it is?
And one more…
The first number is what you would have if you took $1 and doubled (multiplied) your investment daily for one year.
The second number is what you would have if you took $1 and added $1 to it every day for the rest of the year.
The third number is what you would have if you took $1 and kept it safe for one year.
Now let’s apply this idea to business and leadership in particular.
There are $1 Leaders.
These are those who are highly risk averse. They like to play it safe. They reason that if they had to hire others to do the work, they could lose all or part of their $1. So they simply keep what they have. They don’t lose…but they don’t grow, either.
There are $365 Leaders.
These are leaders who add followers. As the work increases, they will add followers. There is growth, but limited.
There are $37,576,681,324,381,300,000,000,000,000,000,
There aren’t very many of these in the world, but there are those rare individuals who know the value of compounding interest. These are leaders who develop other leaders. Done regularly and on a massive scale, this can have an impact well beyond anything most of us can imagine.
My friend and mentor, John Maxwell, is pretty good at leadership math. In and of himself, he is a highly respected leader. But as his work grew, John knew he needed to expand beyond the $1 model. The demands were great, and his resources were limited.
So he added.
He became the $365 model. John added a few staff members to help him in the work. Contrary to what you might expect, the expenditure in staff did not decrease his profit; rather, it expanded it. This made the investment well worth the expense. But growth was limited and still highly dependent on his personal leadership.
The day came when John had to make a choice. He could keep adding followers, in a steady state of status quo, or he could create a legacy business by virtue of multiplying leaders. He chose legacy. As such, his business has grown exponentially in the last several years, and he is able to mentor leaders from all over the world. He has become a leader of leaders.
What happens when a leader chooses to lead leaders rather than lead followers or simply “go it alone?”
Take a look at the numbers above. That’s what happens. There is infinite growth.
For John, it is not so much about the dollar sign as it is about the people. He will say that in leading leaders, he is investing in people to an exponential scale.
None of us (not even John) know John’s exact number of influence, but it is most certainly a massively large number, given the number of leaders he has directly influenced, and their respective circles of influence.
How about you as the leader of your business, community, or organization?
Are you playing it small – adding followers – or compounding influence through investing in leaders?
If you are looking to fast track your influence and profit this year, get beyond risk aversion and simple addition – and choose the compound interest of multiplying and influencing leaders.
Compound influence equals compound results.
Be a leader of leaders.
For more resources on leading for growth in your organization,
click below for the Leading for Growth e-book by Deb Ingino.