“My brothers’ lives were different For they heard another call
One went to Chicago And the other to St. Paul
And I’m in Colorado When I’m not in some hotel
Living out this life I’ve chose And come to know so well”
All of our lives are different, and where we are from where we started will be different for all of us and in many ways a measure of our success. But living out this life “I’ve chose and come to know so well” will be your final measure of success. It will help keep you grounded throughout your journey and true to yourself, your values and your mission. A successful leader can be summarized as a person who adds immediate value as a trusted advisor, mentor and visionary who uses a process approach to lead the organization and its people to new levels of success. Great organizations need to have a thoughtful vision and strategy. Great leaders need to combine that strategic vision with the ability to execute the strategy tactically and effectively assess:
- Who am I
- What do I stand for
- What won’t I compromise
This is your brand and your brand promise, your legacy. So lets talk about legacy and the legacy journey in a pragmatic way.
There are many ways to define success. I believe the ultimate definition of success will be in the answer to the question “ What is your Legacy?”. I subscribe to a simple but powerful definition. For me it was always about the answer to the question. Did you leave things a little better than you found them? More broadly and from a business perspective;
- Are your people better because of their time with you?
- Are your customers better because of their interactions with your company?
- Are the shareowners and stakeholders better because of your influence and stewardship of the company?
As you grow and develop, take on new challenges or simply move into a new phase of your life, you will be faced with complications and adversity that may set you back. Honesty, perseverance, and trustworthiness will become major factors in overcoming these obstacles and creating your personal brand and your legacy.
Along the way, you will come to a decision point or stage gate. Your choice is simple but profound in each instance, but a decision must be made. Your choices are LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET OUT OF THE WAY. If you choose to lead you will need to be an honest and trusted leader to establish your vision, mission, and values so that those in your care or supervision will trust you enough to follow. As a lifelong learner, you are constantly forging a path to transform yourself into a high-character, high-performance leader. You will never be without challenges both in life and business. But if you are focused and ready to face these complex business challenges and personal changes with discipline, determination, honesty of purpose and in an ethical manner you will be successful.