What is your legacy as a leader?
Even if you are just starting out as an assistance manager at the local convenience store it is time to think beyond yourself, beyond the current time, to your ultimate legacy. Do you want to be remembered as the leader who put the slur in slurpee or the ho in hoagie or do you want to be remembered as the leader who courageously and religiously never let one of those scary hotdogs be skewered in the rotating oven for more than 21 days?
A lot of people are confused with legacy. Read this: “legacy” is not a pejorative. Do not use it as such. Please consult your dictionary. A legacy is something that is left to another in a will; a bequest of personal property. The word is derived from the Latin “legare”, meaning “to leave by way of a will”. That’s it. By itself, it has neither positive nor negative connotations.
Some people confuse legacy with Emeril Lagasse which is also wrong. But his legacy of food and the word, BAM may live on.
So if your are not Emeril how do you cook up your leadership legacy. Here are the 5 key questions to create your personal big BAM:
- Determine your defining contribution to the workplace beside the bowl of jellybeans in your cubicle (Don’t try to become Ronald Reagan, become more of who you already are — maybe try a bowl of m&ms)?
- Ask who will miss you after you retire? If the answer is nobody then you have a legacy issue that needs to be addressed.
- What will they say you did around the office (besides bringing donuts for your loyal followers)? Craft your legacy litany by signing all your emails with Bob: The guy who got things done. By the way, this works best if your name is Bob and you actually did something.
- How did you make a difference? Were you courageous enough to stand out? Perhaps you wore a bowtie when all those around you dressed in drab business casual?
- Serve the people you lead without taking credit for your service so that when you are gone people will say, “who was that masked man?”
Dr. Z. reminds you: Get a leg up on leadership by ensuring your leadership has a legacy to stand on!
Picture credit: Your actions create a legacy for others to follow by http://flickr.com/photos/wildphotons/297077257/
Dr. Z. believes in the power of metaphor or similie (if you like that sort of thing).
Complete the following sentence:
Leadership is like ….
When you master metaphor you will master leadership. You can voice the metaphor during all occasions, people will be bamboozled by your ambiguity, others will salute you as a sage, and you will be like, cool eh.
In future posts, Dr. Z. will share some powerful leadership metaphors to prime your mind with the miracle of metaphor to take you to the next level of leadership.
For example, leadership is like a penny:
- it makes cents
- it often is ignored or undervalued, and
- it doesn’t get you much anymore.
Any reader with a creative leadership metaphor is encouraged to post it in the comment section of this blog so other leaders can steal it can call it their own.
A penny for your thoughts…
Are you prepared to HAVIDOL?
Dr. Z. recommends Havidol as the drug of choice for leaders who recognize more is not enough.
Not sure you need havidol, take the ZING self-assessment test. Determine if multitasking makes you feel powerful and other essential questions to determine is you need this amazing drug.
As a caution here is the small print from the website for the use of Havidol:
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Problems can be avoided if you take HAVIDOL only when you are able to immediately benefit from its effects. To fully benefit from HAVIDOL patients are encouraged to engage in activities requiring exceptional mental, motor, and consumptive coordination. HAVIDOL is not for you if you have abruptly stopped using alcohol or sedatives. Havidol should be taken indefinitely. Side effects may include mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation. Very rarely users may experience a need to change physicians.
What are you waiting for…dare to Havidol!
Important Notice: The Dr. Z Leadership Institute ethical principles clearly states that the institute will not profit from the promotion of drugs (even though many drug dealers and large pharmaceutical companies have no trouble with this). The institute does not receive any money for you mindlessly clicking to the drug site nor do they receive any free samples – of course, if the makers of Havidol would like to send Dr. Z a t-shirt he wears size XL.