What is the ultimate product of your leadership?

One of the services we provide clients is a system for putting the right people into the right jobs.

Both in our hiring assistance and in executive coaching we ask one key question: “What is the ultimate product you must produce in exchange for your salary?”

This isn’t a question about roles, responsibility, or tasks.  It is getting clear about ultimate value for pay.

You would be surprised by how much difficulty people have in answering this question.

Recently I was working with the CFO of a large and very successful manufacturing company, and I asked him this same question about himself and his leadership contribution in his business. 

“What product do  you and your department ultimately contribute to the business?”

His answer was one word, and it was powerful:  Insight.

the inner nature of things

When I looked up the definition of the word in Wikipedia I found this:  The understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context. 

Isn’t this a potent way to think about one’s contribution as a CFO?  I often get answers like:

  •          Up to date financial information.
  •          IT Systems that people can use to produce value.
  •          A positive cash flow.

Or any one of the corporate high level financial goals.

But no. Insight.

Just think about the impact this CFO will bring his company if indeed he causes everyone in his company to have insight?  This is a much higher order way of thinking about contribution and value. 

If my client can ultimately contribute insight to his company, I believe he will hit the ball out of the park.

So here is my question to you. 

What is the product (as in ultimate output or result) of your leadership?

The best answer to this question may not be the first thing that comes to your mind.  When you identify your highest and best leadership contribution, align everything you have to that one objective and vision.

For those who are interested in knowing how to make your highest and best contribution as a leader, check out our Leadership Results 365 and Communicating for Results workshops.  This is a high value way to begin obtaining insight about exactly how you contribute the best of who you are to your organization.