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Tips To Create Your Leadership Legacy

Tips To Create Your Leadership Legacy

A leader’s legacy should be what he leaves and not what he takes, writes leadership experts Debbie Nicol.

Time and time again I’ve observed misplaced loyalty in the workplace which paints a glorious picture of employee-followership, the type that corporate leadership dreams are made of. Yet the dream quickly crumbles into a graveyard of reactive and agenda-driven activity when the leader moves on – why? Because each one of those followers put their hand up to move with the leader to the next corporate destination, showing clearly that they had bought into the person and not the vision, the hope and a better future for all that the leader was creating.

A leader’s legacy is what he leaves behind, not what he takes with him! I challenge any leader to put his ‘golden handshake’ on hold for even one year or six months, to see if the urgency, focus and determination for the vision is still as urgent, focused and determined a year on. If so, he or she then deserves the golden handshake, because the change he or she led and the hope for a better future has become everyone’s dream and passion – an embedded change indeed, fully owned by all.

When leaders change, clear and tangible pictures of the future state must exist. For some that could be described as being one of the many executive decisions.

Yet if the corresponding executive actions are not aligned, are non-existent or inconsistent, those around will simply not buy-in and hence not perpetuate the dream beyond a leader’s use-by date, and legacies will not exist. What can be done better in this arena?

1. Influence others to see the benefits of the change and allow them to become your spokespeople.
Benefits are what people buy into, as benefits are what facilitate the hope for a better, easier or more efficient future.

2. Build and invest in a coalition of collaborators, believers and ambassadors.
Afterall, they will be the ones to keep it alive in your absence.

3. Communicate key messages to key groups at key times.
Communication is key for any change to be successful but it must be targeted, precise and different for each key group.

4. Anticipate and identify where personal barriers and resistance may exist; manage this by allowing them to be heard and attended; don’t seek to eliminate them
The natural human reaction to change is resistance. Allow it to be aired, address it by giving it what it wants and watch it dissipate slowly yet succinctly.

In this rapidly changing business world, a time of vast organisational change, how will your influence live on, your values turn into action and your dream and vision remain alive well beyond your contract date?

Debbie Nicol is the MD of ‘business en motion’ a Dubai-based business consultancy and learning organisation operating in the GCC and Asia.

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