Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is the legacy of a leader? – Part 2

In last week’s blog we started talking about the legacy of a leader and the intangibles that remain after a leader is gone. Real leaders at every level of an organization need to be thinking about their legacy and what will happen to the organization once they are no longer a part of it. A true leader is always thinking about the long term impact of their actions and not just about what will happen today or tomorrow. But, there are far too many people out there in positions of leadership who think only about the here and now.

Many leaders do think about leaving their imprint on an organization and seek to clearly delineate their time as a leader versus those of a predecessor. And, while this imprint can be positive, too often we see leaders who make change for the sake of change without regard to the implications for the organization as a whole. For example, we’ve all seen leaders assume control of an efficient, functioning organization, only to turn it dysfunctional sooner than anyone thought possible.

When leaders focus only on the short term, or focus on themselves rather than what is best for the organization, they tend to chase away top performers, lose sight of the true goals of the organization, and create top heavy organizational charts which revolve around them. And, while these leaders may occasionally provide short term results, their true legacy is the long term despair of the organization – broken only by the short term elation and joy at the announcement of their departure.

When leaders focus on the long term and create a plan to leave the organization stronger than when they arrived, they build an organization with a vision for the future, instill the values to support that mission, and find talented people to carry the mission and vision forward. Leaders with this focus not only create results for today, but also for the future. You can feel the imprint on the organization years after they have been gone; managers quote them, employees are still empowered with the values they set forth, and decisions are made that are consistent with the long term vision they so clearly communicated.

In our next issue, we will talk about one such leader – a leader who created a legacy with such clear values and such a strong mission that it survives and thrives more than 50 years after his death.

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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