Here’s a question;
When you leave your organisation, will you leave it better or worse than you found it?
It’s a pretty pivotal test for all of us, even more so if you are a senior leader or a CEO.
Have you extracted more value to your organisation than you’ve added? Is it better for having had your presence? Will it be after you’ve gone?
The simple fact is that we are all caretakers. Our job is to leave our organisation in at least the same state as we found it and our focus and intention should be to leave it even better.
It isn’t easy. Our financial markets, our economic model compel us to extract value and to return it to shareholders. Our leaders are rewarded for it, in this imperfect model.
Even in not for profit organisations, the public and third sector. It is very easy for egos and personal agendas to cloud the perspective of leadership teams.
It doesn’t matter what circumstances our business is under, our thoughts should always be beyond our own safety and security, our own comfort, our own personal gain.
Our reward should not be in personal adulation, false empires or the trappings of power.
Our reward should be knowing we’ve left a sustainable legacy.
We should not put off the decisions, hide from the challenges or avoid the truths of today, but face them head on to create the hope for tomorrow.
When we leave our organisations, we should leave them ready for the next generation to build and grow. We should leave them fit, healthy and ready.
Judgment is not when we are in situ, but when we are not.
So when you’re facing a tough decision, a change, a need to repurpose, rethink and realign. Ask yourself not whether this suits the needs of now, but whether it has to be done for tomorrow.