Leave a legacy

By: Justin Simpson

Over the last twelve months, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the world’s greatest technologists. These amazingly talented individuals are not only industry leaders in their respective professions, but they are world class leaders. Every day I’m amazed by how well their teams work together to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. As a new leader in my organization, I’m very mindful of creating an inclusive and innovative environment. Since I’m the youngest and the least experienced leader in my area, I devote a lot of time and attention on developing my leadership style. As I think back to some of my previous leaders and look across my current leadership team, I notice that the good ones left lasting memories. They actually left a legacy. Even though I may not report to them anymore, I often find myself remembering and teaching the principles they taught me. I was intentionally following in their footsteps. That’s the type of leader I want to be. I recall one key principle all those leaders had in common, and one that I believe is necessary to be a great leader:

Leave a Legacy

I can remember growing up in central Alabama where football is like a religion. Everyone in Alabama is either an Alabama or an Auburn fan. Both of those institutions have really good athletic programs, but only one of them had a leader who left a legacy. Paul Bear Bryant is known all over the world for his transformational leadership skills on the football field. His leadership led Alabama to several national championships. Some of you may wonder why I mention Alabama football in a professional note about leadership. Well it’s simple, it is a good example of someone whose guidance and principles are still being followed today.

As we share and develop our own professional championships, what type of legacy do you want to leave? When you move on to your next role, change companies, or retire, what do you want people to say and remember about you? I personally want people to say that I was a servant leader and that I invested and gave everything that I had to help others achieve success in their careers. I want my team to say that they never gave up because I was able to provide them with the right words of encouragement during our difficult times. I want them to say that it was obvious to them that I genuinely cared about them and their careers. And finally, I want them to be able to apply the principles that they watched me demonstrate. What good is leadership if people can’t reproduce it? I challenge you all to be intentional about the legacy you are leaving for the generations behind you.

Justin is from Northport, Alabama and received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration from The University of Alabama located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is very involved in the community, actively participates with local non-profits and has served on several board of directors.

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