How sustainable are the programs you are putting in place? Do you have a legacy mindset approach to your role as a leader?
People come and go within an organization; gone are the days where a worker spends 25 -30 years within the same company, the goal of a gold watch and retirement party the signature event at the end of their career. People move after 3-5 years within an organization, mostly for the opportunity to advance in their industry. When you leave a company, what have you left behind?
In the Entrepreneur article Three Core Competencies of a Great Leader, one of these is the development of a legacy mindset, the idea that as you go through your time within a role, you seek opportunities to make a difference that will be sustained long after you are gone.
At each stage of your career, you learn how to keep creating sustainable impact and influence. The best leadership legacies are a consequence of success coming to those who are surrounded by people that want their success to continue. When you can inspire those around you to take a leap of faith with you, you are creating a legacy-defining moment in your leadership career that ultimately defines the path towards success and significance in your career and the legacy you leave behind for the associates and customers you serve.
As a leader with a legacy mindset you are examining each opportunity to create something that will live on long after you are gone. Examples might be:
- Creating a mentorship program for those employees who have demonstrated a desire to learn more, take on bigger projects and/or move into different roles within the company.
- Another type of mentor program might be connecting long standing employees with younger associates more in tune with how the Internet and social media are used to connect with customers, engage in the community and for further industry research. As the younger associates help more seasoned employees, there is an opportunity for 360 mentorship.
- Developing a diversity program. Creating groups within the company that support and encourage the recruiting and advancement of women of all ethnicity. Often the women within an organization that is dominated by men have a struggle feeling included. Creating a women’s group helps to provide the connection necessary to keep women engaged within the company.
In the article What is Sustainability Leadership, the author, Cynthia Way, offers several things to consider:
- Think globally and toward the future. Consider what current and future impacts you are making with each decision on other countries, society, oceans, animals, communities, waste, resources, etc…
- Protect nature and people. Distinguish how actions taken affect people and the environment. Try to make decisions that will reduce the negative impacts on 2nd and 3rd levels of people, processes, the environment, and economies.
- Transform business as usual. Do something different within your span of control. Change a habit which reduces waste such as reading via an e-book or printing double sided.
Great leaders keep an eye on the future in every step of their journey. Leaders with a legacy mindset have the advantage of knowing that they are using their impact and influence to create lasting change within each role they have along the journey of their career.
Do you have a legacy mindset?
Check out JJ’s new book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.