Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Reaching the C-suite is a journey unto itself, although it’s not an ending, but a launch-pad into another journey of improving and refining your leadership style so that it becomes responsive to every team and situation. You may have gained dozens of new tools in your executive MBA program, now is the time to put them into practice and choose how to use them.
The essence of leadership is taking responsibility, making the hard decisions, and charting a course for a whole team or organization. Legacy leadership is about taking the time to get to know those you lead, offering them the opportunities for growth that will nurture their leadership abilities and support their career growth. Another very accurate name for this style of leadership is Service Leadership, where the leaders at the top of the organizational charts give service and support to their direct supports, teaching them to do the same in turn. This leaves a legacy of strong leadership, positive corporate culture, and employee longevity behind you, even after you move on or retire. Interested? What will your road to legacy leadership look like?
Here are five important places to visit on your legacy leadership journey:
Wisdom is where you gather knowledge and hone skills. You’ve done that while earning your degree, but there’s never a point at which you are done learning and growing as a leader.
Awareness is a place you reach when you can see yourself clearly, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and direct your growth to shore up those weaknesses. Coming to an awareness of yourself also allows you to see and understand your team and their dynamics.
Vision is a home base, where you set your immediate and long-term goals, chart your course, and return to re-evaluate periodically. It gives you an internal GPS to carry with you on your journey.
Agility is the place you reach where you can operate your leadership skills one-on-one right now, in small groups and teams building on your vision in real time, and at the operational level over the distant future. It’s also a place where it becomes second nature to use only the tools that fit the context and frame, allowing you to adapt and direct your efforts to be the most effective and efficient leader possible for each situation.
Legacy is the destination, where you are passing along all you have learned, supporting the growth and training each member of your team needs to reach their next stop on their career journeys.