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Leading isn’t easy. In addition to the responsibility of making tough decisions everyday, there is another critical component that pervades a leader’s thinking, something that he or she can’t help but wonder from time to time, and that is: What will be my leadership legacy?
A leader’s legacy is a byproduct of the historical decisions one makes driven by his or her personal values. In other words, a solid legacy plants the seeds from which consistency and expectations sprout that, in turn, become the organizational funnel for future performance. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, bestowed upon his employees one question to always keep in mind when making decisions: Will what I’m doing right now result in a win for the company? As a result, he took GE from $13 billion in 1981 to $480 billion in 2000—an achievement still talked about.
Here are six ways leaders can leave long-lasting legacies: