You are going to leave a leadership legacy whether you are intentional or not.  Take the time to create a meaningful Leadership Legacy Statement and write your own story.

Happy Memorial Day 2020

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.” John F Kennedy

“If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.”

“It takes the best in each of us to make the best world for all of us.”

Memorial Day is about taking a time out and remembering.  As a leader when people take a time out how do you want them to remember you?  What type of memorial impression are you leaving on them?  Are you creating the leadership legacy that you expect?

Perhaps leaving a legacy is too far out there for you to think about today.  How about this?  When you enter the room are those you lead excited to see you?  Do you see passion and enthusiasm rise in them simply because you are present?  When you leave the room what do they say?  Are they giving high fives and cheering because you are gone?  This is more immediate, but it will build to your legacy.  Your legacy is simply the byproduct of all your behaviors and decisions over time.  It is driven by your principles and therefore a Leadership Legacy Statement can help you grow as a leader and attract more success.

Leadership Legacy Statement

A leadership legacy statement is like a mission or vision statement, but instead of goals of where you want to be it is more behavioral based.  It is how you will make your decisions during the journey towards your goals. Those principles that you want detected in your actions and will help guide you in decisions you make.

“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals.”
― Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work

Word association is a great way to get started.  Grab a piece of paper.  What are characteristics you use to describe great leaders you are familiar with?  Passionate, curious, driven, humble, wise . . .Which of these are most aspiring for you as a leader? A short list of principles that are true and authentic will be more impact to you and those you lead than trying to be everything.  It is much better to have a list that is short and deep than long and narrow.

Create a Short List of Values

Once you have a short list of the values that are most important to you to be remembered by, write down why each one is important.  This will help solidify your list and remove bullshit that may simply be pie in the sky.  Now that you have a solid list write your legacy statement.  It doesn’t need to be long or fancy.  Bullet points work great.  It could simply be hungry, humble, smart.  These 3 were very important to a CEO that I admire.  Here is an example from my own Leadership Legacy.  Be of service.  This is important to me and when I am faced with doubt or uncertainty, I just must ask myself “how can I be of service” and the path becomes clear.  Here is another example of just one piece of a legacy statement from Paul Draper “Be something my grandmother would find respectable.” Ah, the grandma test. Do you see how that makes decision making very clear for him?

The ELC (Everyday Leader Challenge) this week is to create your leadership legacy statement.  If you feel comfortable sharing post it to The Everyday Leader Podcast page on Facebook.

You are going to leave a legacy whether you are intentional or not.  Take the time to create a meaningful Leadership Legacy Statement

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” —Shannon L. Alder

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