The Law of Legacy
Excerpts from John C. Maxwell book titled The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
A Leader’s Lasting Value is Measured by Succession
The Coca-Cola Example
Roberto Goizueta took over Coca-Cola when the company was valued at $4B and increased to $150B under his leadership becoming the 2nd most valuable corporation in America. Although Goizueta died suddenly of cancer just 6 weeks after his diagnosis while at the helm of the company, he adequately prepared his successor Douglas Ivester for the top position. Ivester became the product of the Law of Legacy.
Goizueta once said, “Leadership is one of the things you cannot delegate. You either exercise it, or you abdicate it. A third choice is to pass it on to your successor.”
Leaders who practice the Law of Legacy are rare. Those who do leave their organizations with a “long view” by leading with tomorrow in mind as well as today.
In order to do this it requires strong leaders to be created at every level. The only way to widespread leadership is to make developing leaders a part of your culture.
Pay the Price Today to Assure Success Tomorrow
There is no success without sacrifice.
Value Team Leadership Above Individual Leadership
No leader can do it all alone. The larger the organization, the stronger, larger, and deeper the team of leaders needs to be.
A Legacy of Succession
The Mother Teresa Example
Few Leaders Pass It On
Max Dupree, author of Leadership Is An Art, declared, “Succession is one of the key responsibilities of leadership.” The problem - only a few leaders seem to learn. Achievement comes to someone when they are able to do great things for themselves. Success comes when they empower followers to do great thing things with them. Legacy is created only when a person puts the organization into the position to do great things without them.
Leaders hate to see something that they put their sweat, blood, and tears into starting to fail.
Every leader eventually leaves the organization - one way or another. They may change jobs, get promoted, or retire. You cannot just lead followers - you have to develop leaders. Lasting value is measured ones ability to give the organization a smooth succession.
When all is said and done, you as a leader will not be judged by what you achieved personally or even by what your team accomplished during your tenure. You will be judged by how well your people and your organization did after you were gone. You will be gauged according to the Law of Legacy. Your lasting value will be measured by succession.