[vimeo id = 125072471] One of the tragic ironies of leadership is that too often leaders devote themselves to building projects or programs, and they forget about the people around them. When the time comes to think about their legacy, they find themselves with just bricks, mortar, and budget lines. In the present, the most urgent need seems to be the building fund, but when you look back, you realize the most urgent need was the building of people.
John Maxwell recently wrote a blog about the legacy of a successful leader. He believes the most important things a leader can leave behind are empowered people. I couldn’t agree with him more. If you’re wondering why, here are three reasons why people are the best legacy of a leader.
First, your organization thrives through people. Someone once said, “If your business can’t survive without you, you’ve failed.” That may seem a little harsh, but if you think about it, the point is absolutely right. True leadership doesn’t create dependency. If you haven’t mentored and invested into the emerging leadership, the business may collapse when you leave. That’s not a legacy of success. True leadership means empowering others to take your place. Effective emerging leaders are the legacy of a successful leader.
Second, your ideas thrives through people. Anything you haven’t shared with someone, either personally or through writing, dies with you. I am so grateful to people who took time to invest in me. Many leaders in my life made a commitment to personally invest into me through one-on-one mentorship. They shared their ideas and experiences with me all the time. Not only does this mean that their ideas will survive them, but even in the present, their insights are influencing others through me. When we invest in others with all that we’ve learned, we’re developing future leaders and building a legacy that will go on to influence others.
This leads me to my third point; your legacy thrives through people. The beautiful thing about empowering leadership is that it creates a cycle of empowerment. When you choose to invest in people, they turn and mentor those around them. That cycle continues well beyond any leader’s lifespan. Down life’s road, there will be a person who you don’t even know who will have been empowered because of your decision to invest in people. Those future mentors are the legacy of successful leader.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope these words encourage and inspire you to develop your own legacy of empowered mentors. Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments below. Thanks again and have a great day!