Do you ever wonder what people would say about you when you eventually leave this earth? How you will be remembered. The stories people will share about you. The impact you will have made.
This is something we should all be cognisant of because your legacy is something you are creating every day. How you lead, how you make others feel, what you contribute to, what you don’t do and whom you spend your time with. Your legacy is the sum of all your parts and as a leader it is something that transcends the immediacy of your profit and loss statement and KPIs, and focuses on how you want to make a difference. We can be guilty of thinking very short term in a world that throws constant change and complexity at us from all angles but in this case we need to be thinking long term and about something that really matters.
In my role I am often asked to come into a business and chat to a team to establish what is working well in the business and what can be improved from their perspective. I always love these assignments and it’s refreshing to experience the rawness and authenticity of a team who are empowered to be honest. I will often ask team members to describe the leader and other team members to me. A very common precursor to the ‘real stuff’ is ‘he/she is really busy’. Then they might go on to say how ‘nice’ they are or they are ‘good’ at their job or complain about how they never have time for them or how grumpy a person may be. When I ask them they how they experience their day the response is 99.9% of the time ‘busy’. And I have no doubt this is reality and it’s only when I dig deep that I get to understand what’s really going on beyond the busyness!
Now I am aware that my ‘busy’ radar is well and truly on high alert however this word and this busy behaviour is damaging not only leadership and relationships but it’s also damaging your legacy. You may have heard me say this before but I am quite passionate about what will be written on my tombstone and what will be shared at my funeral and one thing I vehemently don’t want mentioned is “Julie Hyde was busy.” I want to be remembered for so much more than that and I’m guessing you do too.
What you do now is going to have an impact for future generations and shape the culture of not only your workplace but the culture of your world. So you need to be thinking long term about your legacy and be working towards the difference you want to make and the mark you want to leave on the world. Get clear on that and understand the things you need to be doing to shape your legacy. Avoid busy and focus on connecting with the hearts and minds of those around you and beyond you. That is what makes a lasting impact and creates a powerful legacy. Busy has no role to play here.