Am I Building a Legacy?

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As a business owner you, you’re constantly told that you’re either growing or dying. Talk about harsh! The truth is, managing the day to day needs of any business can leave little time to think about big ideas like “legacies”. And yet, at the end of it all, the business may pass to another leader and your reputation will be all that remains.

The good news? Building a positive legacy in your organization takes less time than you think. Here are a few key actions you can implement today.

ONE

Say hello, to everyone. Believe it or not, this little act goes a long way in building your legacy. Why? Because it shows everyone on your team that you’re never too important to acknowledge the real worth of a business, the people. I had the pleasure of working for a Managing Partner of a Fortune 500 company that would stop by every desk in the morning (and regularly in the evening) to say hello and goodbye. The ritual didn’t take more than five or ten minutes but everyone on our team knew that he cared. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. He didn’t stop with the employees, he’d greet the evening cleaning crew and contractors the same way. In less than ten minutes a day, he conveyed a clear message, you matter.

TWO

Manage your anger. Not everyone has a temper to rival soccer fans at a playoff game (the last one which I attended the fans began berating the player’s grandmother for reference). But if the shoes fit, use them to walk into some classes and address it. The problem with anger is that it destroys trust. Sure, maybe you only lose it “once and a while”, but you undermine trust all the time with those little explosions because the team walks on eggshells constantly. Working for leaders who couldn’t manage their own anger lead to an overall lack of respect and most often a collective eye roll from everyone when an episode happened. Take the time to get it under control and let your team know you’re doing so.

THREE

Think about the leaders you’ve looked up to and ask yourself why they stand out. Was it the way they cared for their families or communities? Did they use their businesses to give back instead of just focusing on profit? Was it something simple or complex? Sit down with your team and ask them the same questions. What does your company want to be known for and how can everyone take steps to help ensure that it is? Just by taking the time to consider it for yourself and asking for feedback from your team, you’re opening a door to say, I care about what happens after I’m gone. I care how we’re remembered, not just how we make money.

 

You’re never too young to care about your impact on those around you. To share what traits you look up to in leaders, send me an email. And to learn more or follow my adventures, stop by meetingmeredith.com