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What will be your legacy at your organisation?


When you move on or retire from your present role, what will be your legacy? For example, will there be a lasting impact on the workplace culture that can be attributed to you? Or will tasks be approached entirely differently on account of the decisions you took while you were there?




This idea of a legacy might be most often associated with the leaders of an organisation. For leaders, over both the short and longer-term, their immediate aim and target is the fulfilment of their organisation’s mission, vision and strategy. Whether this is consistent profitability as a large corporate entity, or ever-improving efficiency and community benefit in the public sector, a leader will always be focused on attaining and exceeding organisational goals. Their legacy, then, is something above this: of course, a track record of great results can be considered as part of a legacy, but it will also be manifested in aspects such as the systems and processes they introduce; the staff they mentor towards success; and the overall brand power of their organisation.


Leaders are perhaps most obviously linked with pursuing the creation of a legacy because, in defining and enacting their vision for an organisation, they may well appear to be most in control of building one. They are perhaps best placed to put in place organisational structures and product-focuses that are most likely to outlast their time at the top. They are also well-placed to be well-remembered as the most obvious figurehead in the organisation (a fact that is, however, a double-edge sword).





There is certainly a great deal of truth in this, but further down the company too it is certainly possible to create a real legacy in an organisation. This can be as simple as a manager coaching and training a staff member in a particularly effective approach to an area of work, where this member of staff then carries this learning through into their own future career success. It could also be seen in a particularly productive employee who, through their efforts, essentially defines the boundaries of their role for others – creating the workflows and operating approaches that future incumbents will follow.


A legacy can range from a truly extraordinary organisational transformation, to an innovative yet incremental change to a single process. What will your legacy be from your current role?
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