When people talk about leaving a legacy, they’re usually thinking in terms of what they can do at the end of their lives to make an impact. But I strongly believe that your legacy will be measured by what you do every day, all day. The most influential people, the ones who leave behind incredible legacies, live on in the hearts of the people they’ve touched along the way.
When was the last time you went back and spent time thinking about the basic questions?
What is my role in life?
What am I good at?
How can I take stock?
How do I want to be remembered?
The best possible use of our lives is to spend them on something that will outlast us. And the way to create a great leadership legacy is to carve your name on the hearts and etch it into the minds of others, creating the stories that will make up your legacy.
You can start making your mark right now by defining for yourself these six pillars of greatness:
Your character will leave an impression. Character plays a vital role in leadership. Many people are concerned with their reputation when they should be concentrating instead on their character. Your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. Take care of your character and your leadership legacy will take care of itself.
The choices you make will leave a mark. Life is made up of an endless number of choices, and the choices you make add up to form your legacy. It’s important to always do your best—to make the right choices as often as you can and to try and learn from the wrong ones. In the end, your leadership legacy will reflect the choices you’ve made.
The way you conduct your behavior will make an impact. When you act with integrity it will be remembered; when you treat others with respect it will be honored; when you are trustworthy it will be recognized; and when you live by a code of conduct and your values, others will know what you stand for. They’ll admire you and realize the impact you made along the way.
The consistency with which you do things will be remembered. When you are consistent in your words and actions, when what you say is what you do, when you live up to your promises—that behavior is memorable. When your behavior is the same in unguarded moments as it is when someone is watching, you’re creating the kind of legacy anyone would want.
The confidence with which you lead will be admired. When a leader exhibits confidence, it becomes easier to trust that leader, and people want to work with leaders they trust. In reality, self-confidence is a more important asset than skill, knowledge, or even experience. Confidence comes from your competence, and capabilities equal confidence—an idea you can read more about in my new best-selling book, The Leadership Gap. A confident leader will be remembered as someone who helped others feel significant and empowered.
The compassion you show others will be highly regarded. Compassion isn’t something you’re born with. It grows out of considerate behavior, and any leader who can show compassion for others will be held in high esteem and long remembered. Leadership, at its core, is about compassion—the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives. And that’s a sure way to show how much a leader cares.
Character, choices, conduct, consistency, confidence and compassion—these six pillars of your leadership legacy can determine how you build, how you create, how you grow, and how you are remembered.
Lead from within. Creating a leadership legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.