What Will Be Your Leadership Footprint?
Legacy. Reputation. Influence.
In their more positive form, these are words mark what every great leader aspires to become in their life.
More than words, these are actual opinions, sentiments of who each one of us is as a leader. Our quest for a “label” should be more than a kind word hung on our resume or epitaph, they should be what others say, and truly feel, about us.
Yet beyond what is said about us, leaders should strive for an even more tangible mark in their world. The real heart of the matter is:
What is the evidence that you have been a leader of reputation, character, and positive influence? Or, what will be your “leadership footprint”?
Here are some ways in which our “footprint” can manifest itself:
- Develop to attain impactful levels of leadership (like Reginald Jones at General Electric)
- Mentor other leaders in other industries (Steven Covey’s forte)
- Building a “clock building” organization (as in Jim Collins’ Built To last)
- Creating new systems of perpetual innovation (such as 3M)
- Building a brand that lasts beyond your lifetime (Steve Jobs or Henry Ford)
- Seizing opportunity in a niche and creating a new industry (Seth Godin of Squiddo)
- Taking advantage of new technology and creating a unique business model (Jeff Bezos of Amazon)
Our footprint can be our personal brand, such as Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) or Walt Disney, which transcends a brand across the business landscape. It may be the books or blogs we write, the Ted Talk you’ve given, or the podcast or interview that was made in recent months.
We should always keep in mind of impacting our world and leaving a footprint that is lasting for generations to come. If we focus our leadership on things other than profits and managerial decisions, and more towards what lasts beyond our influence, we can instigate a remarkable legacy beyond ourselves and leave a model for others to follow.
More than a name on the desk, a title on a business card, or a credit in the annual report, leaving a lasting leadership footprint creates a path for others to follow, and blaze their own trails as well.