I have a simple self-test to deal with the question of legacy. Own legacy, collective, as a company legacy, leadership legacy.
It’s not ‘have I met my goals and objectives?’
It’s not ‘am I personally satisfied and with sense of achievement?’
It’s not ‘do my people value what we have done’?
It’s not ‘have I created a high performance team?’
It’s not ‘have I contributed to the enhancement of shareholder value?’
None of the above are wrong. Not at all. In fact, they will be healthy questions. As any question is.
My self-test has a single question: ‘What will we tell our children?’
That’s it, you children, mine. The children. Those still with innocent eyes that universally remind us of something bigger than us, mortals.
What’s the story? I did what? We did what? We left you behind, what? Here is it, what? Look, see what I’ve done, what?
Whether the plural we or the singular, the question needs a big mirror. The mirror is the only condition required to ask the question. It’s not in abstract, or in the middle of writing or doing or sleeping. It’s in front of a mirror. Seriously.
Because the answer is going to be shaping of the next day, and the next. By the way, I find legitimate and healthy to say ‘I don’t really know’. So that the question keeps coming back.
I believe this is the best question.
Much, much better than what will we tell the company, or the association, or the political party, or the church, or the state, or friends, or … Sure, good to all. But it’s the children. Because it’s virtually impossible to lie to them, unless you have some sociopatic traits of some sort.
Could you imagine a performance management system with a single question? So, John what will you tell your children? Actually, since this is a truly two way performance appraisal, what will we tell our children?
(A system glitch prevented Daily Thought from resuming until today)