When you look at ancient Hebrew history, Moses’ legacy to enter the promise land continued to move forward because he developed, mentored, and trained Joshua to succeed him. However, Joshua failed to leave a legacy of his own by not mentoring the next generation. As such, when he died, the nation fell apart.
Leaders who leave a legacy intentionally lead and manage for legacy on a daily basis.
Doing the following will help you create a lasting legacy.
- Be intentional about leaving a legacy. Legacy doesn’t happen by chance. It’s always on purpose.
- Envision the legacy – Have a clear vision of the kind of legacy you want to leave. Write it down clearly–in stone if you may– and make it plain.
- Model it daily – Model it for your followers to see. Live out the legacy you want to leave. Examine or evaluate yourself and improve any areas of weakness.
- Recruit and develop leaders to take over your job. Leaders who leave a strong legacy realize that their most important assets are not buildings or the organization itself, but the people. So they invest heavily in developing people because, guess what? Legacy lives on in people. It passes on from parents to children and leaders to the next generation of leaders. Legacy doesn’t live on in material things but in people. Leaders who leave a legacy are happy to work themselves out of a job. To train people to take over what they are doing today if their level of skill and training allows them. It’s not simply a matter of when they die.
- Focus on leaders not followers. To leave a legacy, you have to focus on equipping and multiplying leaders who will then serve the followers while multiplying other leaders.
- Make the transitions smooth and effective. In a relay race, the transition step–where one runner passes the baton to the next–is key. Many runners are good and the efficacy of the transition often determines whether a team wins or loses. It doesn’t matter if you have two good runners. If the transition is bad, they are likely to be outcompeted.
- Create a culture that values legacy and succession.
- Teach about legacy frequently.
- Review and Evaluate for legacy and refocus every time you deviate from the focus on legacy.
- Create processes for every activity.
- Create and use a leadership covenant that requires every individual to participate in recruiting and training their replacement before they leave. And reward it.
- Inspect and reward succession planning at every level. People don’t do what is expected, they do what is inspected. People also don’t do what is demanded, they do what is rewarded.