He left his home, And went his lone
And solitary way, And he gave to me
A gift I know I never can repay
Whether we realize it or not, we are all here to determine what our real intent is in life. For each of us it may be different. For some, a great spouse, father, mother, leader, or mentor but all will want to have a legacy of leaving the place a little better than they found it. Purpose driven people put their morals, character, and honesty first. Without purpose, we drift. With purpose, we steer. You have a responsibility to yourself and to others to use your best judgment, weigh your options carefully, and make the right decisions, even if they’re not the most favorable or popular, even when no one is watching! When you do that you honor yourself and your values. Wherever your path takes you, know that your trustworthiness is your highest honor. For if you are a trusted leader, others will believe in your vision, mission, and values and will trust in you enough to follow you.
That will be your legacy. As a person, your core beliefs are not what you would like them to be, but rather what lives and breathes in you as a person. The good news is that you will have many opportunities in your career and in life to demonstrate these values and beliefs, but one chance to get it right each time.
With this sense of responsibility, we are constantly in pursuit of the knowledge whether written or experienced on how to be a good leader and how we improve our skills. We take great pride in the books we have read and where they sit on the bestseller list. I often found that some of the best examples and learning experiences come from the people we have met, the experiences we share and our openness to learn from these experiences we have along the way. These experiences help to develop emotional intelligence and creativity and nurture growth and develop our personality and social skills. These are all skills we aspire to and are trying to develop as leaders along our legacy journey. These interactions provide us the opportunity to respond and develop our own opinions about topics but within the guidelines of right and wrong and moral and ethical behavior.
Leaders must develop emotional intelligence along with their educational intelligence and business acumen. Sometimes a simple conversation or the simple but powerful words from Dan Fogelberg “My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band” can help us see the bigger picture, promote moral and ethical behavior and maybe, not take ourselves so seriously that we lose sight that it is not always about us, but it is about them, the people in our care.
The Leader of the Band sets the tone from the top. He or she is the leader, role-model, mentor. As the leader, we define our vision and commitment towards openness, honesty, integrity and ethical behavior from a values perspective.
Consider a company’s mission statement. The mission statement for a company is defined as, “An official document that sets out the goals, purpose, and work of an organization.” A clearly defined mission statement can help the leaders of an organization strengthen the company culture through a unified sense of purpose, helping the team, and the organization improve decision-making with clarity and purpose supporting the big picture.
The leader must enhance cross-functionality and relationships through a shared understanding of priorities. Put another way, everyone in the band must understand their roles in creating perfect music. The leader must articulate the vision for the organization.
As the leader we must define the optimal desired future state, and articulate and describe the mental picture of what the organization wants to accomplish over time.
He or she provides guidance and inspiration as to what the organization is focused on achieving in the future. Everyone in their care (the Band) must understand their role and what they are working towards every day because it ultimately contributes towards accomplishing the goals and aspirations of the company and the Band. Finally, the leader must succinctly write and speak to be inspirational in a manner that makes it easy for all employees to understand “what good looks like.”
This clarity helps everyone in the organization to understand and articulate the big picture and the vision of what we do, who we want to be, and how we want to do it. The leader will set the tone and through his or her leadership style and brand promise will maintain honesty, integrity and ethics. The leader will live the value and mission statement and will not silently sanction bad behavior. We are more likely to uphold these values and principles when they align with our personal values and ethics and the organization is in sync with its people and policies and all are playing from the same sheet of music.
The Band Members represent leaders in the organization at all levels. The management team must clearly communicate the company’s ethics, values and mission throughout all areas of responsibilities at all levels. It is unacceptable to make statements like, “Corporate said“. When a leader or band member makes these types of statements, they give away their authority and send the wrong message to others they lead.
The values can be communicated in many ways through meetings, informal gatherings, one-on-one communication or the informal day-to-day operations. Regardless, they must be things that everyone can articulate upon request and emulate when the opportunity presents itself.