Seneca once said: “Happy is the man who can make others better, not merely when he is in their company, but even when he is in their thoughts!”
As the story goes, one of those leaders who achieved this was Walt Disney. Even after his death, some people within Disney continued to think of him when they found themselves unsure as to what to do. In such moments they would ask themselves “What would Walt do now?”
A reason this might be easier for founders is that all their ideas, beliefs, and ways of thinking become embedded in the company culture because of their natural impact on the company’s structure. But it isn’t limited to them. Leaders who can share an image, a story, or a metaphor of their ideas as well as how they use their values to decide will find that their teams will use them as a reference.
As a side note, being in their thoughts to help others become better can happen in multiple ways. But it might be worth considering the advantage of being a role model people appreciate, not one they fear or despise.
It is easier to have influence than to have an influence allowing the leader to have his team aligned with him.