In Monday Memo

This week’s focus:

What legacy do we want to leave as leaders?

Almost everywhere I go I find senior managers and leaders working the proverbial two rungs down – being more operational and less strategic than they should be. In fact, we all seem to manage too much and lead too little!

What’s the difference, I am often asked? This has been the subject of many a debate, of course. For me the best easy (and pretty good guidance if not absolutely this simple) answer is that leaders lead people and manages manage tasks and things.

In fact, more and more we are seeing that it is not enough for leaders to merely lead people but that it is often becoming a pre-requisite for leaders to build or develop leaders.

That brings me conceptually to the next step. What legacy do we want to leave as leaders? And we are all leaders in some way – at work, at home, of ourselves etc. I remember Stephen Covey saying in one of his tapes that we need to leave legacies to our children’s children, which I took to mean that the legacy we leave to the next generation, wherever we lead, should be so important and good that they feel it necessary to pass it on to their next generation. Isn’t that great! Isn’t that making a real difference?

Then, this last week, one of my new clients showed me this diagram that seems to encapsulate most of today’s memo: we lead when we develop leaders who develop leaders. (Thank you, Norman Hadskins!)

And that begs the question: what’s a good, or great, leader? In this regard, Donald Trump is probably a sickening reminder of what a good or great leader is not! For great people make great leaders! Leadership is each of us being more fully ourselves, trying to be at our best more of the time – wherever we find ourselves, as parents, as managers, as janitors!

Monday Morning Perspective: “Leave a legacy to your children’s children.” – Stephen Covey

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