Granted, every CEO is ultimately measured by his or her ability to increase compass earnings, profits, and stock values. Everything else -- crafting bold visions, building a vibrant corporate culture, striving to make a difference in the community, etc. -- is, depending on your point of view, either a driver of those earnings or, more likely, something that can be given attention once financial metrics trend consistently upwards.
It's hard to be seen as a great CEO if you don't produce earnings, profits, and a rising stock price.
The same is ultimately true for a small business owner. Startup founders are ultimately measured by their ability to generate profits, because without profits, there is no business. Everything else -- doing what you love, giving back to the community, etc. -- follows from that.
And the same is true for a boss at any level; ultimately you're measured by your ability to hit your performance and financial targets. You can have all the soft skills you want, but if you don't get things done...you won't have a job.
But how does every great leader accomplish those goals? What is one thing every great leader does?
What great leaders do is make every person around them better.
Why? Because no one does anything worthwhile alone, especially great leaders. Leaders are only great when they build great teams -- which means making every person on those teams better.
How? For some employees, that means a little more training. For others, it means more encouragement. For others, it means holding them to higher standards. For others, it means providing opportunities to gain skills and experience.
Every person is different. That means every person's needs are different.
It's your job to figure out what those needs are, and then deliver.
Take a close look at the people around you. Are they more skilled than when they joined your company or team? More proactive? Better communicators? Better team players? Better leaders?
If not, you aren't doing your job.
Great leaders develop every employee. Great leaders make every person around them better.
Because when they do...everything else follows.