How to build a Good Leadership Legacy

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The following ways to build a good leadership legacy will ensure you don't end up as fodder for worse boss stories or find yourself in a conversation with coworker, employees, followers and Virgil during one of their usual strolls complaining of your lousy managerial experiences:

  • Get to know the people that work for you.  Learn their names and of their spouses and children, and also pay attention to the pictures and personal mementos on their desks or boards. Your effort to pay attention and show genuine interest is a show of respect and interest for your associates.
  • Listen more than you talk.  Use ears and mouth proportionally.  Where you ask for input, take your time for formal and informal discussions, feedback and ideas.  Some managers think that they are being paid to generate the best ideas.  Good leaders know that their people are the source of the best ideas and they work harder to create forums for those ideas to be uncovered and developed.
  • Dispense credit liberally.  Never ever take credit that belongs to someone else if that person deserved all the credit and praises.
  • Ensure that your actions match your words.  We all know that words without action are cheap talk.  You’ve got to show that you are committed.  One leader suggested that, "The Say and the Do" have to match.
  • Know when to stay out of the way.  If you've done your job in picking the right people, creating good working atmosphere and providing a direction, then it's time to get out of the way and let people work. 
  • Everyone respects accountability.   Enforce it consistently, evenly and fairly.  No biases and exceptions.
  • The only finger pointing you should ever do is at yourself.  Cooperate with your people, recognize that you are responsible for the results and if the results come up one level down, it is your own fault, not theirs. 
  • Keep your agenda visible.  Your agenda should be your team, your company and achieving set goals. People do sense when someone has a different or personal agenda.  Don't let this be an issue. 

The bottom-line is:
Every time every one of us makes a choice every day to do it right or not. Let’s make some headway on stamping out bad bosses. What will your legacy be? 

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