What is your legacy?

As we move through our lives, we hope to leave behind a legacy that makes us proud. For leaders, that legacy can stretch far beyond friends and family.

I recently had a conversation with a dear friend of mine about this very subject. We talked about points in our career where we had to make hard decisions to stay aligned with our beliefs and our values. Those decisions can be difficult, and can mean walking away from financial stability.

That conversation with a kindred spirit reminded me that every choice we make shapes culture, affects people, impacts reputation and determines the legacy we leave behind for our family and the companies where we work.

The next time you’re faced with a difficult company decision, here are three questions to consider as you work to find the right way forward.

1️⃣ Does this decision and the actions it will require, align with my core values and principles and those of the company, or am I giving into outside pressures/expectations?

Ensuring that decisions are in line with your own values as well as the brand’s will help you maintain your integrity while also maintaining the company’s reputation. If you can’t make it make sense, it might be worth revisiting the decision. If you’re willing to look for it, there is usually a more creative and respectful solution.

2️⃣ How will this decision impact the employee, the customer and company morale/performance?

Considering how a decision will be communicated to employees, customers, business partners and the community BEFORE the message is shared, can help avoid missteps and morale issues that will eventually impact performance. Seeing a message in black and white, can quickly make it real and be the motivation you need to course correct.

3️⃣ Will this decision contribute to building a positive reputation for the brand?

Thinking about how a decision will reflect on the organization’s culture and reputation can help guide the choices that build a strong, sustainable and respected company. Never underestimate the power of the rumor mill and social media on a brand’s value.

Most importantly, if you can get to a decision that feels right for all, you’ll not only protect the brand’s reputation, you’ll help ensure a legacy that will make the company better and make you and your family proud.

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Written by Pam Nemec


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