The Larger Impact Of Your Leadership

Take a moment and think about your leadership. Who does it affect? How far into the future will your leadership go?

These are two questions we need to think about. It’s the larger impact of leadership.

Leaders can often see well into the future. Leaders are the vision casters. The ones who create big schemes to do grand things.

If we’re thoughtful as a leader, we can guide the future of our leadership and raise up new leaders to take our place. This is how our leadership can have a lasting impact. In reality, the way we train up our team can carry onto generations we never thought we’d touch.

We’ve got to be mindful of the impact we’re leaving. Think about your legacy today. Picture it in your mind. Plan it out and create the road map that will be the guide as you lead.

Next, it comes to who are you affecting with your leadership.

We already know we affect the members of our teams. Those that we work closest with.

They may receive paychecks from the organization. Or they may get accolades from you and the rest of your staff.

Normally we stop here when we think of who our leadership affects. But we can’t stop there. We have to keep going.

There are multiple people your leadership will touch. People you may never meet.

Who are these people? They are:

The families of your team members: Family members are the unsung heroes of the working man or woman. They give up precious time with their loved ones so they can earn a paycheck and help your organization succeed.

When you decide that your team needs to put in crazy work hours, you’re affecting his family at home. They’re without a father for a couple of extra hours a night. They’re missing out on bonding time. Keep this in mind as you’re leading and demanding extra time from your team.

The vendors who provide you with valuable services: Many organizations use multiple vendors to get the materials they need to do business. These include cleaning services that provide uniforms, office supply companies that bring in the paper and ink you need to print documents, or the food vendor who brings in coffee for the coffee machine. Each of these people are touched by the way you lead.

If you’re rude to your team, you’re more than likely rude to these fine people as well. Be intentional to lead with a grateful heart. Say thank you when your products are dropped off. Write a kind note letting the vendors know they’re appreciated.

Sure, they’re doing their job but they’re also helping you run a successful business.

The local community: Your organization most likely has a local presence somewhere. This affects everyone in the area.

Decide to keep your organizations building looking good. Keep the grass mowed, the buildings painted, and the driveway clean.

Did you realize you affect more people than just the ones that come into work everyday? There’s hundreds and thousands of people you’re touching on a daily basis.

Make sure you’re leading in a way that these people and those in future generations will remember your organization in a positive light.

Question: How do you ensure you’re impacting the unseen in a positive way? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Love this, Joe. It’s so helpful at times (make that ALL times) to keep this perspective handy. How cliche is the ripple analogy but how true does it ring! In my work with young people, the effects of my leadership is magnified and multiplied further than I could ever achieve by myself. Thanks for the reminder to look beyond today!

    • Justin, I’m so glad to hear you get this! When I think about this, I often think about Andy Andrews talking about George Washington Carver. There were people dating far back that had an effect on him that they never knew.

    • I think this impact is especially true with young people – you are shaping how they view things for the rest of their lives. If you leave them better off for having been under your leadership, think of how many years they have to benefit from that.

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  • It’s easy to lose sight of this when things get hectic. I remind myself every day that my business is bigger than me and that other lives are affected by my decisions, good and bad.

    • Brandon, you’re doing well to remind yourself of that. Have you seen your leadership impacting those outside of your immediate circle?

      • I still talk with people who worked for me 7-8 years ago and now they are in positions of leadership and have families. It’s cool to watch them grow as people and occasionally I hear from one of them about the impact that my leadership had on their lives which is pretty cool.

  • Bill | LeadershipHeartCoaching

    Great post, Joseph

    I’ve been a manager for many years, but would like to respond to this post as an employee who also works for a manager.

    As a subordinate, I have been on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to having a manager who showed interest in my family’s well-being. Some 25 years ago, I once had a manager who flat out said he had no desire to hear about a family matter I was experiencing (and it was a positive experience – something like my daughter’s first day at school). Today, I work for a manager who actually interacts with that same daughter on Facebook. Both have, and will continue to leave lasting impressions.

    • Man Bill, I’m sorry you had to go through that with a previous manager. It probably made you feel unvalued or uncared for. This attitude probably also affected the way you viewed that manager.

      It’s good to hear that you’ve found a manager that actually cares about his employees and their families. I know when I have that type of leader in my life it makes me want to work all the harder for him.

  • Gary E. Weller


    Our movements create the reality around us. These ripples create the culture that we want to sustain.

    • Thanks Gary. That they do. How do you ensure you’re creating good ripples?

  • Dan Forbes

    Thanks for making us think about how our daily leadership affects so many people. Just think about how over a lifetime this influence grows exponentially into thousands and thousands. Being mindful of this will help us focus on leading with heart and intention every day.

    • Dan, thinking about the exponential growth of influence can be overwhelming. It keeps compounding just like interest. Before we know it, it’s huge.

  • There is power in living a life of example. Whether it is small acts or big acts, consistency is king. The way I develop myself, treat others, serve others need to mirror both my private and public life. When there’s a misalignment between these two, that’s a big warning sign.

    • Thanks Paul! How do you recognize when you get out of alignment?

  • The impact my decisions make on the families of my team weighs heavily on me – I always try to remember that these are real people with real lives. It’s probably easier to list who your leadership DOESN’T impact…it’s that important.

    • Tom, you’re doing great then! You’ve recognized it’s an important part of your leadership and you need to be aware of it.

      Have you ever changed a leadership decision based on how it might impact the families of the team members you’re leading?

      • Only so far as logistics – such as understanding if they can’t attend an event after work, etc. I think making hiring/promotional decisions based on that is a slippery slope??

        • Tom, I like how you’ve been willing to change and bend to fit the schedules of others. It definitely shows others you’re caring and interested in what’s going on in their lives.

  • I truly believe that being grateful and kind to people will take you and your leadership to great heights. In my former job as an FBI agent, people expected me to be tough and hard-hitting. But I found I had so much more success by killing them with kindness…during interviews and even interrogations. Being grateful and showing kindness is not being wimpy or a push-over….an important distinction for a leader to make.

    • LaRae, that’s an excellent piece of advice. It will also bring you a lot further than being rough and tough. It’s like the old saying: You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

  • This is quiet an impressive post. I also feel that leaders do have an inspiring and motivating impact on each and every individual who is associated with him, may it be his family also.

  • In our organization, we are responsible for helping customers reduce energy costs. My leadership impacts the way my team approaches their projects and customers. My team’s approach impacts their customers, their customer’s customers, the environment, and the list goes on.

    • Great recognizing how your leadership and organization impacts more than just the customers. It’s all trickling down.