Consider your own leadership legacy as you navigate the minefield of your current challenges. It is easy to become buried in the vast array of urgent and critical things to accomplish. Focusing on short-term performance is important, and it must be a priority.
Also, make sure to also set aside some quality time to consider the long-term impact of your actions. You may wish to have a group discussion with peers at some point. Consider asking your superiors for their input. How would you like people to remember you once you are gone from day-to-day activities?
Visualize your strengths
Start out with an accurate view of your strength areas. For this step, I like to use Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton’s “Strength Finder.” I did that exercise years ago, and it startled me. Until I took the assessment, I was unable to articulate consciously two of my strongest areas. Before you can leverage your strengths in the organization, you need to be crystal clear on what they are.
Your strengths become the key to your leadership legacy
You can find hundreds of ways to apply your strength areas to improve the organization and even beyond. When you use your God-given talents in a conscious way, wonderful things begin to happen.
A personal example
One of my three strongest areas on the Clifton Strength Finder was a thing called “WOO.” The term was unfamiliar to me. Whatever I was doing to engage this strength was a result of instinct. Once I understood the term to mean “Winning Others Over,” I began to see how to use it to enhance my effectiveness. I love the challenge of breaking the ice and making a connection with people.
Once I was aware of the impact of WOO along with my other strengths, things changed. It was possible to build a legacy as a leader who likes to connect with people at all levels. I used another strength (Maximizer) as a way to stimulate excellence within my organization. That image became my own legacy.
Leadership legacy moves beyond the organization
You can leverage your leadership legacy beyond the work environment. My own situation has enhanced my life after retirement as I work with volunteer groups of all types. Knowing my specific strengths allows me to be more effective in all environments. That makes my contributions more satisfying and enhances my network of friends almost daily.
We all have areas of God-given strength. Become aware of these and seek to engage them in your daily life. You will see they become the cornerstones of your legacy in all areas of life.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations