Archive for January, 2011

Legacy

Posted in Leadership on January 3rd, 2011 by kjr – 3 Comments

Happy New Year

It’s a good time,

at a time

when we mark time,

to think about

what it is we are leaving behind.

Every leader, good, bad, or mediocre leaves a mark. In an earlier post on Loving Critics, I mentioned the book A Leaders Legacy. I believe it is important to consider– What is the legacy we will leave as leaders?

In a sense, to do this effectively, we need to hold two almost conflicting ideas in our minds- and actually our hearts- simultaneously. One is to recognize and be mindful of the fact that what we do impacts our organizations, communities, other people. The other is to acknowledge our impact is fleeting, and if we try to build an impressive legacy to be remembered by, it almost guarantees our legacy will be small and insignificant.

Being mindful of the fact we are leaving an impact is like the vapor trail in this photo. It enhances the picture, adds something meaningful to the image, but, it’s temporary.

Pride motivating what we do to leave a legacy is a falsehood that undermines our effectiveness. We won’t enhance and add meaning to an organization, or another person’s life, if we are driven by pride.

Jim Collins, in the book Good To Great, Why Some Some Companies Make The Leap …and others don’t talks about 5th Level Leadership. He describes those who reach this level of leadership this way:

They are humble, self-effacing and more concerned about the prosperity of the company than their individual success.

The pilot flying the jet, leaving that vapor trail a few mornings ago, had no idea how it enhanced my view, prompted my thoughts and added to this blog.  ….. Wonderful!