What do you hope to accomplish in your time as a leader? Do you expect to be able to achieve a specific vision? Are there certain goals that you hope you’ll be remembered for making? Many leaders make a critical error in their legacy statements, whether they are formalized or an unspoken goal, because the emphasis is on themselves.
The best leadership legacy statements aren’t about being remembered, but about creating the circumstances that are needed for others to succeed. In order to create a lasting legacy, there are certain traits that you’ll need to incorporate into your style.
You Must Be Intentional
Every decision that you make must lead toward a positive end result. Why? Because negative leadership creates anger and frustration. Positive leadership creates happiness and cooperation. Your legacy statement will be believed or it won’t be believed based on the perceptions of your intentions. If people see you in a negative way, then you won’t leave a positive legacy.
You Must Be Clear and Concise
If no one knows what a leader expects as an end result, then there are no real standards that must be met. What might be good enough for one person will be rejected for another person and that creates anger and dissent? Your leadership legacy statements must create goals that are specific, measurable, and obtainable for success to happen.
There Must Be Accountability
Accountability is often referred to as making sure a job gets done in the right way. Accountability, however, must also include the definition of how team members are supposed to treat one another, their peers, their customers, and even other leaders they might encounter on any given day. You’ll know that your leadership legacy statements are working when a team will hold itself accountable instead of forcing others to do it.
Consistency Must Be Had
If a leader never follows up with a task to make sure it is completed with good quality, then inconsistent results will always be achieved. That means the legacy will be negative, no matter how positive the leadership legacy statements might be. Progress must happen and values must be achieved. By keeping your promises, you’ll always leave a lasting legacy.
Compassion Can Be Difficult
Have you ever needed to fire someone because they just didn’t line up with your vision? Compassion can be difficult because sometimes it means letting someone go so they can make a better impact somewhere else. It isn’t something that is filled with disdain or disinterest. It is instead built through trust, civility, and personal demonstration.
Your legacy statement is a reflection of your personal vision. It’s what you aspire to be on a personal and professional level before you make your final exit. By clearly defining the results you wish to achieve and how you intend to achieve them, you’ll be able to clearly communicate who you are and what you want to be.