This is a question every leader should be asking himself. What will I leave behind?
Leadership is not a permanent position. You will transition out of leadership.
And one of the greatest things people can say is that you transitioned out well and left something behind.
Your leadership will impact various aspects of the organization you lead. From the staff to high-level leadership to customers, your ability to lead impacts all of these areas.
You will also impact these areas when you leave an organization.
What Will You Leave Behind For Staff Members?
Your staff are the people you’re over. You’re giving direction and guiding where they go.
When you leave, there will be a void. You need to leave something for them.
You should leave your staff with:
A sense of accomplishment: Not of what YOU have done but of what THEY have been able to accomplish with your leadership.
A sense of self-worth: It’s easy to tell people what to do, it’s harder to make them feel good about it. Leave behind a legacy where you empowered people to make decisions and that their actions made them feel better.
A sense of excitement: Transitions are scary. Especially for those being left behind. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. When you begin transitioning out of your leadership position, begin to encourage those left behind. Share what’s going on and how it opens up new opportunities for them.
What Will You Leave Behind For Other Leaders?
We know it’s scary for our staff when we leave our leadership position. Did you know it’s also scary for the leaders who are staying?
It is. But you can help make your exit easier on these guys as well.
You should leave the other leaders with:
A hope for better things: When our former youth pastor left, it was scary. He’d been pastor of the youth group for longer than I could remember. What would we do without him? As he began to transition out, he shared his hopes and dreams with us. He also let us make it our own. Leave other leaders with hope.
A passion for the organization: We know that not all leadership exits are pretty. That doesn’t mean you can’t encourage those still there that they’re working for a great place. Share with them the good things the organization is doing and will do. Give them something to look forward to.
A desire to serve: As you leave, don’t let the other leaders forget that leadership isn’t about being served. Leadership is about serving those you’re leading.
What Will You Leave Behind For Customers?
Customers are the life-blood of any organization. Without their patronage, organizations cannot stick around.
Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean you have to leave the customers high and dry.
You can do things that will encourage them to keep coming back.
You should leave your customers with:
A staff that’s willing to continue to serve: You’re gone, or going, we know that. But there will be people left behind. These people are going to be serving the customers you once served. Make sure they’re trained and equipped to do so.
A solid foundation: Any time a leader exits an organization, it can leave things shaky. People are confused and don’t know what’s happening. While it won’t be your organization anymore, you can make sure that what you built is solid.
A new hope: Maybe you didn’t do the best in your position as leader. As such, your customers may be wary of what’s going on. Let them know what’s happening and that there is a great team that’s moving forward in a new direction. This new direction will benefit them and they can have hope that the organization will stick around.
We leave a lot behind when we leave organizations. We need to make sure that what we’re leaving behind is good. For us and for those we led or led with.