Creating a legacy isn’t about filling up your awards shelf

Legacies aren’t reserved solely for those at the top

Marketing’s Hollywood moment is almost upon us…

Soon, Cannes will be flooded with creative leaders hoping to win big and secure themselves a space among industry royalty.

The Cannes Lions festival is a celebration of the best and brightest in the industry, and for those wanting to leave a legacy in this space, awards and recognition are essential. But leaving your mark shouldn’t just be about the silverware you take home or the plaudits you get from the trade press.

For me, building a legacy is about the everyday actions and decisions you take that impact other people, no matter what level you’re at. These actions can seem small, mundane even, but they have a powerful and long-lasting impact — and while they might not make the headlines, they never go unnoticed. 

More than ever, business leaders are being forced to consider the impact their actions and behaviour have on others. During the pandemic, empathy was pushed to the top of the agenda and DE&I became more widely accepted as business critical.

But all the talk of showing empathy and championing inclusivity doesn’t seem to be translating to day-to-day work life. A recent study reveals a fifth of people say they are working in a toxic environment, while a report from Glassdoor found that half of employees with less than five years of work experience feel lonely all or most of the time.

This is where there is real impact to be made

Business leaders don’t need to top the Forbes list to be remembered; making their employees feel valued, supported and respected is an equally impressive goal. And doing so doesn’t just improve employee wellbeing; studies show that leaders with high levels of empathy can help their team members be more innovative and engaged, boosting productivity and growth.

By giving everyone equal opportunities to succeed, encouraging people’s talents and creativity, and empowering and supporting their employees to fulfil their potential, leaders create an environment that promotes real, sustainable business growth, and that’s the sort of legacy the next generation of leaders should be chasing.

Of course, legacies aren’t reserved solely for those at the top. Everyone at every stage of their lives and careers is building a legacy every day, whether they know it or not. It can be as small as being kind to the people you work with or as big as helping someone get through a tough time in their lives. Your actions towards other people can empower them to take the next step in their lives, or, at the very least, make them feel better on a bad day.

There might not be an award at Cannes for that kind of legacy, but ultimately it’s what people will remember you for.

Featured image: Museums Victoria / Unsplash

Imogen Kemp-Hunt, Senior Digital Strategist, Brandwidth

Imogen has 6 years' experience working in marketing strategy across a range of industries, including property and automotive. As a Senior Digital Strategist at Brandwidth, she enjoys enhancing the customer experience and helping clients to elevate their digital offering. With a background in literature, Imogen has an affinity for writing which sees her craft content for both Brandwidth and their clients.

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