The study found that the vast majority - 86% - of the 210 respondents feel that leaving a professional legacy is a high or very high priority, about the same (85%) proportion who say the same about leaving a personal legacy behind them. "Leaders in business appear to be making a shift in their focus from personal success and achievement to making a difference in the lives of others and leaving some kind of legacy," said i4cp Leadership Pillar Director Mary Key. "The study indicates that having a positive impact or legacy as we defined it is very important personally and professionally to the majority of those leaders."
Responses to various levels of legacies revealed that 71% have a high or very high interest in leaving a social legacy that improves the lives of others, while 42% would like to leave a lasting intellectual legacy (such as securing a patent or publishing a book). When it comes to leaving a physical legacy, 31% said it was a high or very high priority, suggesting that today's leaders may be less interested in building monuments to achievement than in the past. Thirty-five percent of respondents feel it is important to leave a spiritual legacy (e.g., leaving the world a better place).
"The social legacy findings especially are a pleasant surprise," said Key. "It counteracts the media's common view, which gives the impression that companies and workers don't care about much else except making money and taking care of their own needs."
Among other study findings, 58% of respondents say their organizations make supporting the growth and development of others a high or very high priority, while 69% say their organizations have a high or very high concern about leaving a corporate-wide legacy. These statistics support the findings in Key’s book co-authored with Dennis Stearns, CEO Road Rules: Right Focus, Right People, Right Execution. In interviews with over 50 CEOs of successful companies, they found that over 60% of those interviewed saw their legacy as coaching and developing others.
The Leader Legacy Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in September 2007.
For more information about this study, please contact Greg Pernula at Greg.Pernula@i4cp.com or via phone at (727) 345-2226.
About i4cp, inc.
Building on the 35-year history of its predecessor (the Human Resource Institute), the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including many of the best-known companies in the world, i4cp draws upon one of the industry's largest and most experienced research teams and executives-in-residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the management of people in organizations. Additionally, i4cp identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and "next practices" on these issues and trends. i4cp is a for-profit company with its headquarters in Seattle, WA, and research offices in St. Petersburg, FL.