Continuing the Credo for 21st Century Management from Liquid Leadership:
The 7th Law:
If you travel around the world, whether to Sweden or Alaska, Peru or Nigeria, Mexico or Australia, when you look past the modern buildings you will find evidence of ancient civilizations that understood the concept of a legacy. These civilizations considered every action in terms of its impact on the next one hundred generations, and they were serious about this.
A Liquid Leader Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Today we have lost this idea of a legacy. Even more so in this new age, we see ourselves and our creations as disposable and transient. The houses built today won’t last more than forty years—just in time for you to pay off your mortgage. Our skyscrapers won’t last anywhere near as long as the pyramids of Egypt or the Roman Coliseum, and our streets are far from being the Appian Way—they need full repair crews every couple of years. If today’s society can be said to have any legacy at all, it’s one of planned obsolescence.
Many people claim this is the way it has to be in an advanced society. Really? Tell that to a company like Exxon, which is looking into fuel alternatives like algae; or TESLA Motors and their development of the electric car and battery cells; or Intel, using energy-efficient Celeron processors to control electricity-generating wind turbines along with a multitude of Green products needing artificial intelligence. These companies are looking into alternative technology to build a legacy for the future.
Leaving a lasting legacy is about creating structures that don’t require your presence for their success. It’s about leaving your company, your world, and your grandchildren’s world a better place for having been graced by your presence. I have no time for leaders who think only of now and always want to be the center of attention.
After all, why are you here on Earth? Just to make big money? Or to be of service to others, helping them to acquire the skills they need to align their dreams with a changing planet? To create a place where people feel secure enough to stay and raise their kids, get their first mortgage, and pass on the legacy of doing great work in a great company? What I am proposing may sound bigger than life, but that is what you should expect from yourself and the people you work with—you are changing the world because you believe you can.
In a fast-paced world the idea of delayed gratification seems to have disappeared in favor of quick profits and quick results. But building something great and lasting is about defining a clear vision, planning and effort, persistence over time, and eventual harvest.
A society based on planned obsolescence cannot survive for very long. History is filled with such stories, but many believe that because we have cell phones and e-readers and an interconnected electrical grid system, we could never go backward—yet we could. We can call it the “new economy,” but it relies on electricity to function. Many economists agree that when the Roman Empire collapsed and plunged Europe into the Dark Ages, all technological progress came to a halt. It would take more than a thousand years to regain the same momentum. According to author Richard Maybury, we are actually 1,500 years behind where we could have been technologically.
To explain our world today, we must look at the past and make an educated guess for the future.
Yes, old methodologies are changing the way we do things, but we can’t abandon everything we’ve learned over the past six millennia. One thing we know for certain: The Internet has shaken our world to the core. For the first time in human history the planet is connected by a global infrastructure, which is built on the Internet, satellites, machine-to-machine communication, and wireless technology. And it’s not just for commerce; it’s also for communication, security, socializing, and entertainment. We are no longer mentally isolated by physical borders. If we do it right, the human race is on the cusp of yet another huge leap forward—a global legacy.
As leaders, you have the job of supporting the people who make our companies great—by giving them the tools to win, and by being humble enough to listen to their input and accept their support. Yes, what we do is about the bottom line, but I challenge you to resist quick profits and embrace long-term changes—delay gratification in exchange for something greater than yourself. More than ever, whether you are a Boomer or an eighteen-year-old building your Facebook page, it is your job to create a standard of excellence that catapults us all to another level.
By raising our standards, we raise our expectations. By raising our expectations, we change what we will tolerate. It is time to stop rewarding those who have failed and start rewarding those who do things right. It is time to focus on the real leaders and innovators in every generation.
The world of the future is at our fingertips, and we need to start now. Remember, our thoughts have mass; they have an impact on this world. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Let’s change this world together, one visionary idea at a time.
I look forward to being a part of that world...
Global Management Consultant
Millennial Expert, Cross Generational Leadership Development & Workforce Performance Strategies, Executive Coach
TEDX Speaker, Web pioneer and the author of the award-winning, bestseller Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, Brad is a former C-level executive of a publicly traded company that he cofounded that went from entrepreneurial start-up to IPO in three years; the first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company K2 Design, experienced 425% hyper-growth, due in part to a unique management style that won his company the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.
Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Inc., Advertising Age, The International Business Times, and The Hindu BusinessLine to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.
Brad's programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, expectations, productivity, and sales growth in The Information Age.
* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership
* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author
"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York
Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.