What do you want to be remembered for in your professional roles, and what lasting impact do you aspire to leave within your organisation, career or even your current role? This is the challenge that you, as a middle manager, might not even consider. On a day to day basis this is probably not something you think about however it can help you on a daily basis.
Knowing your legacy – what you want to be known for – can help give you a sense of direction, a purpose and help you not get side-tracked.
I believe her legacy is climate activism and giving a voice to young people.
Sir Richard Branson
Often saying he doesn’t think about legacy or that his children are his legacy but he does say and do things that indicate a strong sense of legacy; for example, he wants to see his wealth being used for positive purposes and he has an attitude of trying something at least once.
Defining your Professional Imprint
A challenge middle managers like you face concerning legacy revolves around defining their professional imprint. It’s about sculpting the narrative of your career in a way that aligns with your personal values and resonates with your organisation. You might grapple with questions of significance and permanence, seeking to create a meaningful and enduring legacy.
Yet, within this challenge lies a world of opportunity—an opportunity to thrive, to lead with purpose and to shape your legacy in a way that transcends the ordinary. Here are two powerful avenues through which you can do just that:
Strategic Goal Setting
Thriving middle managers understand that legacy begins with clear and strategic goal setting. You must ask yourself: What long-term career goals align most closely with my personal values and the mission of my organisation? These goals become the guiding stars that illuminate your professional journey.
Alignment: Start by ensuring that your career goals align with your values. These values are the foundation upon which your legacy will be built. When your objectives resonate with what you hold dear, you’ll work with unwavering dedication.
Strategic Planning: Break down your long-term goals into actionable steps. These are the milestones that will lead you towards your desired legacy. Think of your journey as a series of purposeful strides, each one inching you closer to your envisioned impact.
Purposeful Decisions: Your legacy isn’t just a destination; it’s also about the decisions you make along the way. Always ask yourself, “Does this decision align with the legacy I want to create?” Purposeful decisions accumulate, shaping your narrative.
Mentoring and Knowledge Sharing
Another remarkable way to craft your legacy is by becoming a mentor and a knowledge sharer. As a thriving middle manager, you have a wealth of experience and insights to offer. By actively engaging in mentoring and knowledge sharing, you can leave an indelible mark on your organisation.
Mentoring: Seek opportunities to mentor junior colleagues. Your guidance and support can be instrumental in their growth. As you help them navigate their careers, you’re also contributing to your legacy by fostering the success of others.
Knowledge Sharing: Actively engage in knowledge sharing. Share your expertise, experiences and best practices with your peers and juniors. This not only reinforces your own expertise but also solidifies your influence within the company.
Positive Impact: Your legacy can be defined by the growth and success of those you’ve mentored and guided. When they succeed, your legacy lives on in their achievements.
Self-Coaching Questions for Crafting Your Legacy:
1. Goal-Setting Question: What long-term career goals align most closely with my personal values and the mission of my organisation and how can I break them down into actionable steps to work towards my desired legacy?
2. Legacy-Building Question: How can I actively contribute to the growth and success of junior colleagues through mentoring and knowledge sharing? What specific expertise or experiences can I offer to help others achieve their professional goals and, in turn, leave a lasting, positive legacy within my organisation?
3. Evaluation and Adaptation Question: What strategies have I employed to measure the progress of my career goals and the impact of my mentoring efforts? How can I adapt my approaches to ensure they remain aligned with my values and the evolving needs of my organisation and colleagues?
Your legacy is not a distant concept; it’s a tapestry woven with every decision, every goal and every mentorship opportunity. It’s an ongoing story of purpose, growth and impact. As you craft your legacy, remember that your collective success strengthens not only your organisation but also your professional and personal life.
Here’s to you thriving because you understand your worth and lead with values, leaving a legacy that inspires generations to come.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Share your insights with me and let’s continue to learn and grow together.