Happy new year's eve!
What a wonderful day/week to think about your legacy. What mark do you want to leave on your organization, family, friends, community - the world?
You won't get much from the book unless you're willing to dig in and work at the exercises, answer the questions and fill in the forms. If you want to just think you've learned how to be a better manager, this is not the book for you. But if you really want to do better, there's a lot here to help you.
I echo that. If you want magic, try the Vulcan Mind Meld. If you want to try out a few practical methods, the book will be a great resource for you.
Back to your legacy. The final "step" or method I address in the 10 Steps book is: Leave a Legacy of Capacity to Produce. Here is a short portion from the beginning of that chapter:
Step 10 – Leave a Legacy: Develop People and the Organization’s Capacity to Produce
Management is a sometimes thankless, stressful, and difficult profession. Most of us don’t do this kind of work for the money or the fame and we often get neither. We manage because we want to make a big difference. We step up and into the mucky muck because we know we can leave things looking, sounding, and feeling better than when we took over as manager. That’s the vision that ties together millions of dedicated managers. I love working with managers because they are the engines of the organization. If the engine starts running 10% better, the effect is amazing. All managers want to make a difference. The particular shape of that impact is your legacy. When you leave the job or company, what mark do you want to leave?
Let’s do a little reality check here. How many of you have taken over a new job and found that the person left the department in a shambles? Roles are unclear, people are fried, and projects are not getting done on time. This happens a lot and not just when a manager is terminated. Many talented and smart managers leave a mess for the next person. Why does this happen?
Let’s think about why people leave jobs. Many of the managers I know who have quit, left their jobs when they were burned out and couldn’t take it any longer. We rarely leave jobs when we are at the height of our effectiveness, but I would like to propose that you do. Unless you are about the have a stress-induced heart attack or something, make sure you leave your department looking and feeling great. Instead of short-timer’s disease (becoming a lame duck during your last two weeks), try setting a new standard in leaving well. It feels great to go out in this way.
Visualizing Your Legacy
What kind of a legacy would you like to leave? Is there a particular project that you want to be known for? Would you like to create an amazing team? Do you want to revolutionize the way your company plans for innovation? Do you want to lead record-breaking gains in financial performance? Imagine that you are a fly in the elevator one week after you leave. Two people are talking about you. What is it you want them to say?