An only child Alone and wild
A cabinet maker’s son, His hands were meant
For different work, And his heart was known to none
Maybe another story can help bring clarity to this thought of how you as a leader choose to see things and create your legacy:
Three people were laboring in a field of boulders and large stones. Sweat ran from their foreheads as they swung their heavy picks again and again. A curious passerby approached them and asked each what they were doing.
- The first person answered in a stern and abrupt voice: “Can’t you see, I am breaking rocks!?”
- The second person replied in a matter-of fact way: “Can’t you see; I am earning my salary!?”
- The third person smiled-their eyes gleaming with enthusiasm and proclaimed: “Can’t you see, I am helping to build a Cathedral!!?”
Leadership is not a passive duty it is an active responsibility. It is expected that the Leader of the Band leads. This means providing everyone in their care the leadership they need to successfully reach their destination. You have a responsibility to model effective leadership along with honest and ethical behavior to the employees you represent. Open and honest communications and visibility are an important element of trust. Make sure you are available to your people and visible in your operations or department so that your people know what we are trying to accomplish even if it is unpopular.
The statement “ My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man” represents each of us as we try and learn from the leaders, peers, friends and experiences as we create our living legacy. They are the many good people who work with and for us.
Regardless of whom you are at that moment in time, the leader of the band, member of the band or the audience, I believe all will play an important role that will help you to define your legacy.
These elements, mission statement, values, ethics, procedures and practices and the tone from the top, are in place to help meet and exceed the vision for the organization in all facets of the Business. Your role, whether it is as the leader, member of the band or audience continues to be that catalyst for change; the person who understands, accepts and lives the mission and emulates the values in all you do. The result of these actions will be a great company, organization or family providing great service that we all can be very proud of and a great leader we can all follow with a living legacy that others will want to emulate that will define our career and your character.
“I thank you for the kindness, And the times when you got tough”. As we move through difficult periods on our way to success, I want you to keep this thought in mind as you engage with your customers and work with each other, “Do the ‘right thing’ rather than ‘things right’”. Take care of your customers, treat each other with dignity and respect, celebrate your successes and your reward will be “a rich legacy.” – a person that we are all proud to say we worked with and for. A recognized brand (legacy) that others will try and emulate, and a person people will want to follow willingly.
The leader of the band is tired, And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument, And his song is in my soul
The heart and soul of a person’s legacy is in the essential ingredients of great leadership and interpersonal skills. These ingredients became the foundation of the brand promise and will help to create the living legacy of the leader of the band. Here are the essential ingredients. Ask yourself in the privacy of your own heart and conscience where are you are on your journey and how would you answer these questions:
- Do I deserve the respect of the people in my care, my peers, my boss, my family, friends and those I have relationships with?
- Do I treat them with dignity and respect?
- What are the things that I do to be helpful to them?
- Do I view them as part of the solution or part of the problem?
- Do I take the time to understand some of the issues that may be affecting them and their performance?
- How carefully do I listen?
- Finally, am I viewed as a person who is sincere, fair, honest and impartial as a leader and person?
A person who may be technically qualified but with poor “people relationships” will be ineffective. We all have deficiencies in our relationship skills, but by recognizing them and trying to overcome them, each of us can make improvements. We should remember at all times to be courteous and pay attention to the details, as these details can mean a lot to those we interact with and can become the fabric of our legacy.