1. Hader, Richard RN, CHE, CPHQ, NE-BC, PhD, FAAN

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Have you ever thought about what others will say regarding your performance after your tenure as a leader in your organization has ended? What will be the gift you leave behind for others to build on? Should you only start thinking about what you've bestowed on the organization in the immediate years before your retirement or should you lead with a legacy mindset? Leaving behind a legacy is important because the decisions you make today may greatly impact the ability for future leaders to be successful.


An organization's long-term success isn't built on day-to-day operational success; rather, it can only withstand the test of time by building a cultural foundation for those who'll follow you. Developing a vision for the future of your area of responsibility is the essential first step. Strategizing your vision into measurable components will provide the necessary ingredients to shape your organization for generations to come.


Fiscal accountability and responsibility is a primary component of leadership; however, a greater measure of perpetual success is the one-on-one relationships that are cultivated through coaching and mentoring others to achieve far greater goals than you were able to achieve yourself. The greatest gift a leader can give to others is investing his or her experience and time in developing the talent and skills of others who'll then have a strong infrastructure to achieve. Learning from past failures will save time and resources that can be expended into future growth and development. Raising the standard of performance to a high level and offering the direction and support to achieve provides an opportunity for staff to be motivated to far exceed performance measures.


The work that you create must be shared with those around you so that it can be further matured and enculturated into the organization. Encouraging others to build on the work you've created and expanding it will stimulate innovation that will enhance the genesis of new knowledge and skill acquisition. Providing the opportunity and mechanism for your staff members to be recognized for their accomplishments will fuel their enthusiasm for achievement and bolster momentum to succeed. After the standard of performance and expectation is achieved, it must be recognized or it will impede future success. Immediately following recognition, goals must be replaced with an even higher level of performance expectation so that the cycle of achievement is sustained.


Inherent in choosing a career as a leader is the responsibility and accountability that the actions and decisions you make today may have a far larger impact on the lives of others and the success of the organization beyond the daily operations of tomorrow. Others will look at your behavior, both positive and negative, and will attempt to emulate your practice pattern. It's essential that you role model behavior that will facilitate positive actions and set the standard for excellence. Deviating from this recipe will disenfranchise staff members and define a culture of the status quo.

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You must make conscious choices in defining your legacy and not waste time on issues that don't really matter. It's easy for leaders to get caught in the fray of minutia and not be proactive in thinking about the key elements that will influence the organization for years to come. Although it's important to work today for today, it's even more important to work today for tomorrow.


Richard Hader

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