April 2019 SME Newsletter

A Legacy of Leadership

As I was listening to our 2019 South Dakota Sales and Marketing Executive of the Year, Mark Griffin, at the SME Excellence Awards, I started thinking about my own leadership legacy and how I can make an impact on business leaders of Sioux Falls.

As business leaders, we have the ability to make an impact, inspire future generations, and leave a legacy of our leadership. But too often, leaders in the business world fail to consider how to accomplish these lofty goals until it’s too late. Mark Griffin is not one of those leaders. Mark strives to leave an exceptionally positive impact on the Sioux Falls business community, the Lewis Drug organization, and as we saw that evening, his love for family as well.

A. J. Yolofsky, a Family Business Lawyer talks about leaving a business legacy and it isn’t as simple as wisely planning your retirement. “Don’t put off thinking about how to leave your business legacy until you formulate your exit strategy. Your business legacy is actually years in the making and the product of the many decisions, actions and even mistakes you make throughout your career.

A business legacy is formed over time, but even for late-career professionals, it’s not too late. There are a few important things to keep in mind as you consider how you’d like to be remembered professionally.

Legacy leadership isn’t something you achieve; it’s something you create. From your first supervisory position to the day of your retirement, focus on communicating your company’s values and purpose. Relay stories with a message, highlight employees who are seen living up to those values and reinforce, one day at a time, the very legacy you wish to leave behind.

Doing this requires strong self-awareness and a conviction in your company’s values. With this in mind, always keep self-improvement at the forefront of your mind. Reflect on what you can do to teach your legacy through example.

Think about the leaders around you whom you admire. Emulate their actions. Ask yourself whether your vision is salient in the company culture and what you can do to further your vision among your peers and your team.

Leaving a business legacy isn’t about accomplishing great feats or sealing once in a lifetime deals. It’s about how you show up in your business each day and leading others through your vision so they can carry on your legacy when you leave. You can accomplish this by focusing on the future and leading by example every day.”

Leaving a legacy takes daily investment in yourself, your vision, and your values. It’s no wonder so many business leaders fail to build an intentional legacy they are proud to leave behind. With the many responsibilities of leadership, it can be hard to put aside time every day to work toward it, unless you come to understand that leaving a legacy is more about how you “be” in each moment than anything you do in your business.

As we continue to build and invest in our own SME legacy, I invite you to attend our April Membership Meeting on April 16th at 11:30am, come early to network with your fellow SME members. Our speaker is Dan Caro and his topic “Making Adversity Work for You” will inspire and motivate. Invite a qualified guest to attend with you and help us to create a legacy of leadership through SME.

Roxanna McKenna
SME President

“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” —Jim Rohn