Written by Stephen Hobbs

Leadership Legacy

After reading Kouzes and Posner’s A Leader’s Legacy (2006), I wrote the following 27 insights about leadership legacy.


Each leadership legacy statement is rich in meaning and resounding in consequence.
Spend time with each statement.
Consider the statement’s importance for your leadership legacy decisions today for outcomes tomorrow.

  1. Discover and share YOUR authentic leadership legacy voice in all of what you do
  2. Failure is an option when leading
  3. Know thyself … as in know who, why and how to lead from your personal value system
  4. Knowing your role as a model is helpful in seeing yourself in the present re: your expectations of yourself, your ethics, your leadership values
  5. Leaders are followers too!
  6. Leaders must decide on what matters in life, before they can live a life that matters
  7. Leaders notice what is going on around them NOW and they leverage those insights
  8. Leaders speak to others in words that others will find engaging
  9. Leaders understand each person who follows wants an improvement on today for tomorrow
  10. Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow because people follow people
  11. Leadership is courage in action through guiding people to places they have not visited before and where they cannot go without courage
  12. Leadership strengths can become weaknesses
  13. Leading and living are done in the open, with others … here is where you leave a legacy
  14. Leading is about fromward thinking … leaders have an intention and, through stories, they share it to engage others along the path
  15. Leading is about making a difference by standing on spot and being responsible to make it so, so it is
  16. Leading is within everyone
  17. People commit to causes – a lasting leadership legacy is founded on your expressed principles and purpose
  18. The experience of leading is heightened when you educate others about leadership
  19. The legacy of leadership is passed on through stories
  20. The legacy you leave is the life you lead
  21. The type of communication leaders use has intimacy, empathy and familiarity woven into the conversation
  22. The words leaders use matter!
  23. To lead is to know when to follow, and sometimes to get out of the way completely
  24. To stay honest in your leading, “loving critics” are needed to give you feedback about what you are doing
  25. Trust is earned, and you have to keep working on trust as you lead
  26. When you lead, people need to know something about you – your hopes, dreams, talents, expectations, and loves
  27. While love may not be the word of choice for leadership in business, likeability certainly is … because to follow you need to like your leader to the degree to which your like is proportional to how the leader makes you feel

Personal Note about My Leadership Legacy

The insight that resonates with me is:

The legacy you leave is the life you lead

This statement means legacy, living, life and lead are interconnected. Taken separately, they have powerful implications. Together in this insight, they maximize the intention of living your great life.

And to live a great life because of how you lead touches more people than you will ever know in your lifetime. However, those touched will know you as a caring person. And that is quite a legacy!

Ask Request for Your Leadership Legacy

In the spirit of Ask

  1. Scan the 27 thoughts
  2. Reflect on the one or two that jump off the page at you
  3. List ways to action the chosen thoughts
  4. Share with a friend the possible ways you will take action
  5. Decide on an action or actions
  6. Commit to your decision to act
  7. Take action – live, learn, laugh and lead

And to move you forward in your action learn about the 9 educating approaches useful to manage and lead others … follow this link.

The book is written for managers and leaders in organizations. Therefore it will guide your professional practice. However, replace manager and leader with grandparent. Then read from this perspective with your grandchildren in mind.

About the Author
Dr. Stephen Hobbs is a Decision Facilitator/Leadership Legacy Mentor. He’s available to guide you as a business owner, entrepreneur, executive or team leader to make better decisions – especially about your life legacy and/ore leadership legacy. He uses facilitative mentoring to realize your outcomes in your words. An hour with Steve straightens out even the biggest decision so you can see the forest and the trees.

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