What will people say, when you’re gone, about your leadership?
This question has been on my mind this week after learning of the passing of my former boss, Art Noren. I was blessed to work with Art and his partner, Jim Genaro, back in the 90’s. I often use my experience with them as a teaching tool in my current work as an executive coach and consultant.
While there were moments when having two bosses was a challenge, especially when I had to share the same thing twice, I’ve never worked for anyone better. Honesty and integrity combined with a passion to dominate the market were standards by which Art and Jim worked and lived each day. They showed me what it meant to be an ethical leader while maintaining an unapologetic, persistent style of selling and recruiting. They showed me how to charge full margins and fees and make customers happy at the same time. Both taught me how to recruit aggressively and create trusting relationships with candidates who normally despised dealing with a recruiter. Their actions and behaviors became a success story for how to build, run, manage, and eventually sell a staffing firm.
Legacy is the story that people tell when you’re gone. It includes the tales, ideas, practices, and methods that carry on after you have either left a job or your life has come to an end.
What story do you want people to tell about you as a leader after you’re gone? You can write that story right now by answering a few questions.
Just picture a gathering where everyone is talking about you after you have left the company.
What would you want them to say?
Who would you like them to describe you as being?
What contributions do they mention that you made?
What permanent impact does each person say you had on him or her?
Read these answers at the beginning of each day. Then, act as if you are already this leader. Over time, you’ll watch yourself become what you wrote and, as a result, leave the legacy you’ve chosen for yourself.
Art Noren’s leadership style changed me as a leader and, for that, I’ll remain forever grateful. I challenge you to begin your next evolution and leave behind an even better story than Art’s. And, who knows, maybe someone will be blogging about you one day and the legacy you left behind.