There’s a simple formula for thinking about your personal leadership legacy. It only has four variables in it. It’s not some big quadratic equation with derivatives, exponents, or any of that complicated stuff.
Before I get to the formula, I should probably share some thoughts on why you should care about having a leadership legacy. Most of us aspire to leave our mark on the world in some way. Often we do so through our kids but it’s a little harder to conceptualize how we do it through our professional lives. It’s not very satisfying to think about people saying of us “Yeah, he worked here for 20 years. Showed up on time. Got his work done.” And that’s it. It’s much more exciting to think about how we’ve inspired others and improved things around us beyond just punching the clock. We want to be remembered for something. We want to improve the world beyond our immediate span of control. That’s why proactively thinking about your legacy is so critical.
And a legacy takes time to build so the sooner you define it and think about it, the higher your odds of successfully doing so. Laying it out will give your work direction. It can serve to inspire you to achieve more than you ever thought possible. It can fill that need to leave something behind once you leave a company or retire.
So if you’re interested in building your leadership legacy, all you have to do is think about four things:
Legacy = Impact x Breadth x Duration x Multiplicity