One Choice That Defines Your Legacy

Much of the training you’ll receive as a leader will focus on practical skills—delegation, time management, staffing, and so on. Those things are all important. A leader who can’t manage a team is like a carpenter who can’t swing a hammer.

However, the biggest decision you will ever make as a leader has nothing to do with budgets or scheduling or even creating alignment around the mission. The one choice that will define your leadership and your legacy will be indicated by your answer to this simple question:

Am I doing all of this for myself, or for others?

Self-focused leaders aren’t always easy to spot because personal ambition can masquerade as a big vision. Pride sometimes looks a lot like passion. And pettiness can be mistaken for a dedication to excellence.

Self-focused leaders always give themselves away in the end.

In time, they alienate team members with personal demands, a victim mentality, taking credit for others’ achievements and blaming everyone for their own failures. Their selfishness becomes the lid on their leadership.

Great leaders are always focused on others.

This was the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry, for he said that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I’ve tried to apply that principle to my own leadership, and I’ve noticed it in every great leader I’ve observed.

The greatest entrepreneurs are bent on meeting a need in the marketplace—that is, in people’s lives.

The greatest pastors have a far deeper passion to lift up Jesus and to see souls saved than to receive accolades.

The greatest artists and educators have a vision to improve the lives of others, not just their own.

No matter where you are in leadership—from the frontline manager of a small department to the leader of a great nation—this is the question that will define your legacy: Is this all about you, or are you doing this for others?

What about you? How do you see this choice played out in your own leadership? In that of others? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter.








Featured Resource | Outstanding Leadershipol1-2

With more than 40 years of leadership experience, Stan Toler knows what it takes to empower people to reach organizational and personal goals. He cuts thrugh the mystery and confusion and provides clear guidelines to help you accomplish vital leadership tasks, including…

defining your vision, developing your plan, and communicating clearly to help people buy in to your shared goal overcoming common leadership challenges to create a culture of success building strong relationships and effective teams that make working hard worthwhile.

You’ll find all the tools, tips, and practical guidance you need to help individuals and groups reach their highest potential and fulfill their God-given purpose.