Learn, Share, Grow - Our Legacy's in the Water Bucket

learn share grow

May 23, 2022

Below is a lesson from RF Factor Substack on leadership, influence, and leaving your legacy, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

Our Legacy’s in the Water Bucket

By George Belsky

“When you are beginning to think you’re so important, make a fist and stick your arm into a bucket of water up to your wrist.  When you take it out, the hole you left is the measure of how much you’ll be missed.”  - General Matthew Ridgeway

General Matthew Ridgeway commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II, he later succeeded General MacArthur commanding UN Forces during the Korean War, and still later served as the Army Chief of Staff.  In this quote, I believe he wanted to remind us that all of us are replaceable. The nature of things is that when we leave our organizations, they will inevitably close ranks and keep going forward, seemingly as if we were never there at all.  Come Monday, someone new will occupy “your” chair.  As an aside, thoughtful leaders should have trained those left behind to not only keep going but surpass what they have done; that’s part of our job as leaders: to develop the next generation to keep nudging the organization forward.  Surprisingly, the higher up the food chain in the corporation we go, the seemingly the easier we are to replace.  Sure, they may speak your name in hushed tones around the coffee pot or water cooler but for the most part, it is a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.”  In terms of organization succession planning, that’s exactly the way it should be, the gears keep turning and the machine keeps grinding. I reference this quote often when I speak to law enforcement and military audiences about the importance of work/life integration.  All of us have a professional expiration date. We need to prepare both our organizations and ourselves for the day when we’re that hole in a bucket of water.

Continue Reading Here.

Key Learnings:

  • Thoughtful leaders train those left behind to not only keep going but surpass what they have done.
    We need to prepare both our organization and ourselves for the day we leave the profession.
    Leadership does not necessarily come with rank, but in mastery of your craft, your mentorship and teaching/influencing others.
  • True leaders and influencers leave their mark where, while someone fills your position when you are gone, there will not be another “you.” Legacy!
  • No matter where you are in the organizational chart, what you do in your short career matters if you make it matter — if your work and influence outlasts your tenure.
  • The organization will move on in our absence and we will be replaced, but if we do it right, the legacy we leave behind will leave a lasting impression.

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