How to Create a Legacy of Leadership

By Jessica Wishart

Imagine for a moment what your company might look like if everyone who worked there - from the contract or seasonal workers to the janitorial staff to the executive team - all demonstrated the same quality of leadership.  In his book The Leader Who Had No Title, Robin Sharma suggests that if you created a culture that fostered leadership at all levels, Book-Robin_Sharma-The_Leader_Who_Had_No_Titleyour competition could not catch up with you.  For Sharma, leadership is having a positive impact on those around you, inspiring them to be just a little bit better than before you met them.  Each of us can use the platform we have (our particular job or role in the company) to influence those around us in an uplifting and inspiring way.  If everyone in your company demonstrated the key leadership traits of inspiration, influence and impact, you would be unstoppable.  

So, how does this happen?  How can we create leaders in all levels of our companies?  Sharma reminds us that anyone can show leadership, and that a job is just a job if we choose to see it that way; the truth is that all of us have an impact on the world around us, the work that we do and the way that we chose to do it.

Here are Sharma’s six devotions that he shared at the recent Fortune Leadership Summit to build leadership skills and increase our mastery through small daily improvements done consistently over time:

1. Be a merchant of “wow.” Be so good at what you do that we can’t take our eyes off of you…. whether what you do is cleaning carpets or closing multimillion dollar deals.

2. Go minimalist. Don’t add more to your life, but build your life around simplicity. Pick one thing to master, and having clarity around that one thing will give you power.

3. Avoid the arrogance of success. Don't let your past successes make you complacent; strive for something even greater.

4. Leave people better than you found them. Mentor those around you to help them become leaders as well.

5. 10X value obsession for fanatics. Don’t just have customers, create fanatics by offering ten times the value that they would have any reason to expect from you.

6. Remember that failure is greatness waiting to happen.

If you practice these six devotions and this is the kind of leadership that you are modeling in your company and in your family and in your community, you are creating a legacy of leadership that will go on long after you have left your company and long after you leave this world.  

The good news is that building the habit to practice these devotions is something you can do a little at a time.  Sharma cited research that it takes 66 days to automatize a new habit, so if you chose a devotion and make a conscious effort to practice it everyday for the next 66 days, it will then become automatic, meaning that it will be more difficult for you not to do it than to do it.


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Jessica Wishart


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