As a leader, you have a strong impact on those around you right now and how they act moving forward. However, there are far too many leaders that simply neglect to think about their legacy and what they will leave behind after leaving or even retiring. Of course, you might be looking after the needs of your staff on a day-to-day basis but what will you be remembered for after you’re gone?
Sadly, too many leaders believe that they cannot decide their own legacy, this simply isn't true. In fact, you are shaping your own legacy with each day that passes. For some reason, we associate the word ‘legacy’ with the end of a career but it happens throughout a career and shines through at different phases when decisions are made and actions are taken. Today, we have compiled five key tips that will ensure that you remain on the right path to a successful legacy and define your leadership.
Values and Identity - In order to be a leader, you must connect with yourself and what you want to represent. How will your attitude and behavior be shaped? For this, you need values and beliefs that will influence the way in which you operate on a day-to-day basis. For those who worked with Steve Jobs, they have suggested that he was constantly looking for his true identity and this lead to his many great ideas as an innovator.
Guiding Foundational Principles - Once you have your own set of values, this can then be translated into a guide that others can follow. As well as what you expect of others, this will allow others to know what to expect from you. By determining these principles up front and implementing them throughout your professional and personal life you'll find that having guiding principles makes the choices you make everyday seem like no-brainers!
Take Risks - If you don’t trust yourself, who can you trust? If you think that something will benefit yourself or the business, you need to have the courage to step forward and take a risk. In terms of politics, President Franklin Roosevelt's legacy still remains today mainly because he trusted his gut and took risks. He embarked along a highly volatile and unprecedented plan that ultimately lead this country to out of the greatest depression we have ever faced.
Passion to Improve Others - As a leader, your role involves helping others to find their true potential and a genuine passion for this will be remembered. Nowadays, there is a mentality that says training staff too well can be bad because they could leave for a higher-paying job. However, it is the role of the leader to advance others to the best that they can be which involves understanding them and helping them to achieve any goals they may have.
Accountability and Responsibility - With everything we have discussed above, only you have the responsibility to complete them and the accountability should you fail. Since you are in control of your attitude and values, you have to be self-disciplined with an ability to know when you have made a mistake. Every day, you must then adhere to these standards and complete the above. Also, One could say that you have a responsibility to carry on what started before you.
Today, there is a desire to be the biggest rather than the most respected. When you realize the true meaning of a legacy and the leadership it requires, your goal will become clear and you will be remembered as a leader with significance.