Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Leader’s Legacy Part 3 - When the Legacy Survives the Leader

We’ve been talking about the importance of a leader leaving a legacy and how that legacy can impact an organization for years to come. Just as you want to build a house on a firm foundation that will last for years, and maybe even generations, the same is true when you build a company. A true leader has a vision for the company and builds a strong foundation through the company’s mission, vision, and values. In fact, the visionary leader creates a culture and embeds it so deeply in the organization that it not only survives that leader’s time as President or CEO but it will actually outlive the leader.

If you’ve ever had the privilege of working in a strong, well run company with a strong, visionary leader then you know what I’m talking about. A visionary leader imparts on an organization something much stronger than the goals and objectives; something much more dynamic than a 5 year plan; and something much longer lasting than just the company’s mission statement. A leader of this type wants to create something bigger than themselves, something that will last more than a lifetime.

When I think of leaders of this type, a few different names come to mind. Henry Ford built a company based on his own values and it stays true to most of those values today. Thomas Jefferson, in writing our Declaration of Independence, created something much bigger than himself. And William (Bill) McGowan founded MCI Communications and built a company in his own image. Unfortunately for Bill McGowan, his legacy could not survive the telecom shakeout of the late 1990’s and was lost in the merger with WorldCom.

But, there is one name that truly stands out. This is a man who created something so much bigger than himself; a man who thought big, dreamed big, and acted even bigger; a man whose vision was so clear and his ability to communicate that vision so compelling that his legacy survives nearly 50 years after his death.

His name is Walt Disney.

Is there a man, woman, or child in the United States over the age of 7 years old who has not heard of Walt Disney?

For that matter, there are not too many adults anywhere in the world who do not know of Walt and what he stood for?

Walt Disney passed away in 1966, yet the legacy he left has survived him even to this day. And, while his company has undergone numerous management changes over the years, they remain steadfast to the values and principles that Walt Disney espoused when he created his company.

We’ll talk a little more about the legacy that Walt Disney left in our next edition.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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