What legacy will your career leave behind?

What legacy will your career leave behind?


It is so easy to move through the motions of your career, focusing all your attention on building and growing your skills. Often thinking about our end game and taking into account the long-term perspective of our career decisions is the last thing on our mind. At Peopleconnexion we believe it is really important to pause and from time to time, evaluate the career you’ve been building, and how it contributes (and aligns) to the legacy you want to leave behind. 


To have built something lasting from our careers, and leave a legacy that lives through people well into the future when you are no longer there, is arguably the most powerful thing you can do in your career. A great career won’t leave its mark on the people after you, but a legacy will leave a contribution far beyond your tenure.


By definition, a “legacy, is the lasting impact someone has on other people and a gift they leave for the world.? Sarah Roberts, author of ?Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures That Win in the New Era and How to Create Them?. The work you are part of the and leadership qualities you display can live on for years, continuing to make positive impacts through your body of work – this is your legacy. 


Building a legacy at work can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. Leaders with a legacy mindset, have a deeper purpose attached to their career and it affects how they show up each day. They don’t go through the motions every morning, sleep walking through their careers, leaders with legacy mindset live life and make decisions as though it truly matters (which it does), they use time and resources wisely and they change lives. 


What makes these leaders legacy builders is the fact they are intentional about the legacy they are leaving. A legacy doesn’t have to be a big overwhelming project, it is simply the act of taking a series of small actions day in and day out that support the bigger picture.


Deloitte highlighted three common goals leaders have when thinking about legacy’s

  • Leaving the company better than they found it.
  • Being known as a strong leader
  • Doing the right thing



No matter what your legacy goal is, we have several suggestions about how you can keep your legacy in mind as you go about your everyday decisions:


Prioritise people over results

What do you remember about the people that touched your professional life? More often than not when we remember those key people, what we remember is the way they made us feel and the impact they had on us, rather than the goals they hit. As a leader, it is easy to focus on goals and hitting targets and whilst that is important it is equally important to make an effort to genuinely show you care about people. Whether their tenure is deemed successful or not, you will be admired as a role model for behaviour and that will generate respect long after you’ve left this position.


Continually empower your team

Leaders pursuing their own passions and micro-managing their team, don’t garner the same respect and admiration than those leaders who empower their team to take the initiative and make decisions. It can feel like a gamble to pass the reins to your team, but when you embrace the idea that teams are much stronger when they work together, and you put the team ahead of yourself it empowers your team. In turn your workers careers become more enjoyable, and your team become more experienced in independent work– they have the skills because of you and that experience will remain much longer after you leave. 


Transfer your knowledge   

The best way to learn something is to teach it to somebody else.


Sharing your wisdom is a great way to ?pay it forward? and help shape the next generation of leaders. On the most basic level, mentorship is ?a relationship, that provides the support needed to facilitate someone’s career. Share with mentees what you did to get where you are, hear their worries, motivate, and help them find their way toward a career of impact. Research shows that those who have mentors and serve as mentors actually make more money than those who are not involved in mentoring. More importantly, those who serve as mentors report gaining tremendous joy from their relationships with their proteges.



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