What will you leave behind as your legacy?

By Liz Owers, MAD-HR
MAD-HR has decades of experience working with business leaders to define culture and strategy. But all too often, a question that leaders have forgotten to ask themselves is: “What will my legacy be?”
Published in Suffolk Director magazine, Summer|Autumn 2022
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Human Resources: MAD-HR

Forget the wall of personal accolades in your top-floor corner office.

Forget the number of zeros in your private bank balance.

Forget the tally of acquisitions completed, premises bought, or product lines introduced.

Forget all of this when you consider what your true business legacy might come to be in the decades ahead.

Indeed, it’s perhaps far from your mind when you begin your entrepreneurial journey, to consider what you might ‘leave behind’ by way of a legacy.

But is that an error of strategy?

We work with leaders from all walks of life and all scales of enterprise. Without exception, we find those who present themselves as ‘servant leader’ in mentality, are more likely to generate a strong legacy and a more positive and productive team of co-workers.

What do we mean by ‘servant leader’?

Servant leadership is about aiding others to fulfil their potential, share power and focus on what’s beneficial to the collective.

Servant leaders naturally think less about the accolades they can obtain, but about how they’ll help others develop their careers and how they’ll benefit the future of the business and the wider community, by making today’s decisions in the interests of tomorrow.

Much of this comes down to strategy and defined company culture.

These things don’t just happen but are considered, planned, and continually scrutinised.

They run through the heart of what a business does, how it’s perceived, and how it interacts with every stakeholder group – customers, investors, employees – and even families and communities of employees.

It stands to reason that leaders who think ‘legacy focused’ are viewed with greater respect and trust.

Whether as a potential recruit or as a long-term member of staff, there is value in us all feeling we are part of an organisation where the leader is fully invested in the future vision, which must be right for all, not purely financially driven.

Arguably, this legacy focus matters more to today’s newest generation of employees than it has ever done previously.

Working in HR, we recognise the marked shift in how employees care about being hired by firms who think about the legacy and impact they leave – whether that’s on individuals, on society, or on our ever more frail environment.

As much as they seek financial stability in their employed status, they equally feel it important to be part of a ‘team’ and ‘culture’ which eats, sleeps and breathes authentic leadership, upskilling of all, and a commitment to creating something relevant and lasting for the world.

So whether it’s for CSR or recruitment and retention, we fiercely recommend that your legacy is a consideration worth exploring.

It’s an undertaking we welcome discussing with you.

What will you leave behind as your legacy? 1

Liz Owers, Head of Client Services of MAD-HR

T:  01473 360160
E:  hello@mad-hr.co.uk
Or visit www.mad-hr.co.uk

 

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