As leaders, our responsibility is to develop future leaders—people who are ready, willing and able to take our place and build on our accomplishments to support our company’s continued success.

Although organizational success is our primary focus, we also have a unique opportunity to instill our management philosophy and our vision through our leadership. One of my best and most influential mentors was competent and professional but took sole credit for every departmental achievement. This was extremely discouraging for all those who worked tirelessly to support his vision.

Consequently, existing achievements were maintained with the occasional minor improvement, but an environment of excellence where managers took pride in their individual efforts and the efforts of the team always seemed out of reach. I learned from that experience that good leadership is more about building and developing the team and less about the leader. As you become empowered, empower others to attain their professional goals.

Build diverse teams and allow them to build productive relationships and find their way, guided by your vision. Be willing to provide direction. Encourage new ideas and differing opinions. Provide them with opportunities for professional development and advancement. Celebrate their achievements and recognize their efforts, and when they succeed, you and the organization succeed as well.

Good leaders are confident, competent and comfortable with their leadership. Only then can they inspire others to follow. Remember, “every team has a leader…but not every leader has a team.”