What is your Legacy?

20 years from now, how do you want to be remembered?

At an interview I was asked this question.

What is your legacy?  What are you leaving behind?  What long-standing value have you added to your business?  When people who come after you reflect on what you built, what do you want them to remember?

At the time it was an easy answer, though it seemed to surprise them:

“Amazing customer service.”

I went on to explain.  Every time my phone rings, every email – that is my customer.  When you call, the first few words out of my mouth are, “what can I do for you?”  When colleagues come to visit, my approach is always, “How can we get you this thing you need?”

Even though I don’t typically contact our external customers, I want my internal customers to leave with a win.  I want them to keep coming back;  everyone from the Executive Director to the Security Guard.  Even a lost-looking employee wandering the maze of cubicles, searching for someone.  “Who are you looking for?”  I don’t just give them directions:  I walk them to the location and deliver them with an introduction.

Your request is important.  Subtext?  You matter.

Take a moment to reflect on your internal customers.  How responsive do you expect others to be with your requests?  And next time someone approaches you, ask for some feedback.  It will sound something like this:

Did you get what you needed?  Does that answer your question?  Did I understand what you were looking for?

Then listen carefully.  Anything less than a resounding Yes! means No, though most people are too polite to come right out with it.

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