Being an Executive Leadership Coach, I get exposure to a lot of different organizations, cultures and schools of thought. I find inspiration in each and every one of them, but was blown away by a recent experience that has led me to dig deeper into the idea of legacy and lasting impressions.
A few weeks ago, I was honored to be able to lead a breakout session for a group of female leaders for one of the largest medical device companies in the world – the theme of which was “Make Your Mark”. When the program kicked off, the leaders explained how much they value leadership in the organization and want to inspire each and every employee to make their mark. They asked 3 powerful questions of the attendees:
How will you make your mark?
When will you make your mark?
With whom with you make your mark?
These questions sound so simple in nature, but they left a lasting impression on me for several reasons.
Making your mark was not a question – but a statement. When you think about that, we all make a mark with the individuals, businesses and in life around us, whether we intend to or not. We all leave an impression and create a reputation or brand for ourselves and are known for X, Y or Z. Some of these marks we leave are positive, some aren’t. But when we focus our efforts, energy and leadership on making a mark, we move forward with intention leaving the mark that is aligned to who we really want to be.
Empowerment is everything. The discussion around making your mark was about planting seeds for those individuals to get that intention into motion. And even more so, about building confidence and belief in each and every one of those individuals to know that they have the power and ability to make that mark. Once that confidence and belief that everyone can make a difference is in place, the power and ability to make that impact follow.
The process is possible. There was no question whether these individuals would be making a mark, it was more about the process to get there. By understanding what your values are – and what value you can contribute – you are then able to take small steps to engage the people around you making that lasting impact. With focus and a little effort, individuals can make a significant difference to the world around them.
So, I ask you to consider what mark you are leaving today – and what mark you’d like to make in the future. Dive deep and ask yourself how, when and with whom. Be considerate to yourself and know that you have the power to make a big impact. There is no one holding you back but you – so take your first step today.