Talking recently to a few senior executives on what would be the measure for having had a successful career, got me thinking. How would an organization remember an inspirational leader? How do people remember you and what kind of a legacy do you leave behind?
In the African bush, nothing ends a perfect day quite like a glorious sunset. It is Mother Nature at her best. As the setting sun sinks into the growing dusk, brilliant rays of golden light bathe the world in a flood of light. I never tire of capturing sunsets – no one sunset is ever the same and it is not possible to feel anything other than awe as the sun makes such a dramatic exit. Looking back as the day comes to an end, do you feel a sense of accomplishment with what you have done?
Simon Sinek is a popular TED speaker. He has good insight into human and leadership behaviours and suggests that “the feeling of fulfilment comes from doing something for another – it comes from the exertion of time and energy for someone else.” I like to think that our primary purpose in life is to help one another. I believe that if we were each to help just one other person, most of our problems would be solved. Helping and supporting another is probably the most important of leadership qualities. As an effective leader, what would be a perfect day? What would give you a sense of fulfilment? What would be the measure of the end of a great career?
Good leaders value the following:
- Were you helpful – did you help or did you hurt today? Did your actions today help someone in need? Even when you were busy, did you take the time to explain, to teach and guide?
- Your values – were you true to who you are? Did you stand up for what you hold dear? When faced with challenges, did you stick to your word? When you reflect on the day, are you able to hold your head high in the knowledge that your decisions and actions were consistent with your intrinsic values?
- Gratitude – it is so important to purposely create opportunities to express gratitude and to say thank you. Thank you for what you have, and thank you to those who support you in whatever way.
Giving more of yourself opens the door to receiving. Deepak Chopra says, “The Universe operates through dynamic exchange … Giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give what we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”
I think that at the end of a perfect day, indeed at the end of a great career, an inspirational leader would look back with the knowledge that they helped, developed and inspired.
Anton is a leadership expert, mentor, speaker and author who creates inspiring, game-changing global leaders. With more than 15 years’ experience working with multinational CEOs and HR directors in China, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Thailand, he knows what it takes to develop highly engaged teams and create strong, productive and globally competitive businesses.
My services include:
- Keynote speaking at conferences and events.
- Mentoring and executive leadership development for CEOs, C-Suite leaders, HR directors and executive teams.
- Workshops and Leadership programs for mid to senior leaders globally.
I am a prolific writer and author.
My book, Leadership Through My Lens, combines my two passions: leadership and photography. Through my images, stories and insights, my book inspires and encourages professionals on their own journeys through leadership and life.
Are you ready to transform your leadership? Let’s discuss what I can do for you.