Whether you’ve been in your current role a couple months or a couple decades, you (hopefully) have the desire to leave your organization better than you found it. It’s natural to want to leave your mark. Maybe you’re thinking about what kind of legacy you’ll leave because you’re approaching retirement, or maybe you’re just starting out in your career and want to blaze a path that ensures you make a positive difference.
No matter where you are in your career, there’s always opportunity to have an impact and leave a legacy that sets your organization up for success down the road.
To that point, here are three sure ways to lead and influence those around you.
1. Be a mentor
In the age of “I can just Google it,” the concept of mentorship doesn’t get its due. However, nothing can replace the value of learning from an actual person, especially a person with skills or qualities you’d like to have. While we can go online or turn to a book for certain knowledge, there’s a different, more nuanced learning that takes place when we learn from another person.
Whether you’re a designated leader in the form of a manager, or you’re a team member working shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues, anyone can be a teacher, and anyone can be a student. No matter your tenure or experience, everyone has knowledge to share.
Maybe you can help someone on your team learn a new skill, or maybe you’re great at conflict resolution or organization. You have something valuable to share that someone on your team could use help with, so pass it on. It could change their career, or even their life.
2. Pave the way
There’s room for improvement at every organization. Is your team working with outdated technologies? Do you see an opportunity to improve a procedure? Be part of positive change to get your team or organization what it needs to succeed.
Even if you’re near retirement, set those who will come after you up to do their best work by pushing for adequate budget, new hires, smarter procedures and policies, and technologies that help people do better work in an easier way. What could your team use that you can help with?
3. Provide good service
The quality of service you offer is memorable. If you don’t think so, check out any online review site and see how passionate people are about calling attention to the service they’ve received. It’s a no brainer to say that service has a ripple effect, for better or for worse. In your role, you have the chance to be part of someone’s problem or their solution.
If you had an answer when no one else did, if you prevented an error or saved someone time, if you were polite or tried your best to understand and help, people will remember. And even if they don’t, the service you provided likely had a positive ripple effect in their day.
The morale is that you can have an impact in any role at any organization. Don’t underestimate the value of small changes or conversations. Every day, you’re shaping the legacy you leave, so do it on purpose.
And to learn more about today’s workforce and how you can have an impact, check out our guide Navigating the Changing Workforce.