How Thinking About Your Leadership Legacy Can Impact Your Career
When it Comes to Leadership Legacy, it is People Who Matter
There are different types of legacies. Some leaders, like Steve Jobs are remembered for their product innovations. While he is certainly an icon, it is important to remember throughout your career that products and services are always changing. The one thing that remains constant in any organization is people. Companies provide products and services, but it is the people that make the difference day in and day out, and they are the ones who ultimately determine the success of an organization.
Start Living Your Legacy Long Before You Enter the C-Suite
The concept of a leadership legacy isn't just for members of the C-Suite. Leaders at all levels should think about what type of mark they are going to leave on an organization. This can be a challenge, as tenures are not as long as they once were. A few generations ago, leaders stayed with an organization for 30 years or more. Today, the average leader stays five years. Creating a long-term impact in a short period of time takes concentrated focus, and a genuine interest in cultivating the success of those around them.
Legacy Thinking Today
"Legacy thinking" can help managers and leaders bridge the divide between their daily behaviors and their long-term impact on an organization and its people. This type of thinking allows you to approach each action and decision with a new perspective. Legacy thinking also provides you with a tool that will help you check yourself on a regular basis to ensure that your personal priorities are aligned with the organization's vision, and that those priorities are reflected in your actions.
- If you consistently take on too much, a legacy mode of thinking will help you determine where you are having the greatest impact. It lets you release some control of those areas where you do not have an impact, aligning your priorities.
- Thinking about your legacy will allow you to identify when and where your time is not benefiting others.
- Legacy thinking will allow you to see clearly when it might be time to make a move, either up a rung at your current company, or at another organization where your talents and priorities are better aligned.
- When you make your legacy a priority, succession planning suddenly becomes incredibly important. Who below you can take on some of your responsibilities? Who shows the drive and the talent to take your place when you move on?
- Legacy thinking gives your tasks a greater sense of purpose. Rather than simply tackling goals and KPIs for the sake of achieving them, it gives those goals and KPIs greater meaning.
What are you going to do today to ensure that you are remembered in a positive way long after you move on to the next phase of your career?