In ancient times, shrines or temples were left behind to celebrate a monarch or ruler’s legacy. The greater the leader was, the bigger the monument. In today’s world, leaders endow libraries, develop patents, improve their employees’ quality of life, or inspire a generation to leadership as their legacies. In fact, a corporate legacy has become a goal in its own right.
If you start thinking about your leadership legacy now, rather than just before you change jobs or retire, you will greatly increase the odds of leaving a legacy that reflects your best qualities, as well as the elements of your leadership that you would like to see embedded in the fabric of the organization you leave behind.
Robert Galeford, in Your Leadership Legacy, explains that a legacy statement is a way of setting the specs for the kind of impact you want to have at work. Writing a legacy statement goes beyond describing actions or symbols of accomplishment that you are most proud of. Instead, your legacy statement should focus on your behaviors, values, or approaches to leading and managing.
Writing a Legacy Statement
Step 1: Understand your leadership profile.
Step 2: Understand your values and how they have shown up in your leadership roles.
Step 3: Write the first draft. What are the characteristics and values that you would most like to be remembered?
Step 4: Soliciting and Assessing Feedback- are your actions reflecting your goals?
At Leadership Solutions, we help clients write their Leadership Legacy Statement and reflect on the actions that will take them in the right direction.
The best leaders illustrate their values every day by actions, not just words. Leaders must demonstrate motives and values regardless of the setting or situation to leave a lasting legacy. It may not be pyramid-worthy, but leaders who build legacies provide lasting gifts to their employees, corporations, and the world.