This was the question asked of us recently by an extremely inspiring, highly admired and accomplished business leader of an Indian multi national conglomerate.
For the next 2 hours we heard some great answers by 30 odd business leaders and I learnt lot in those 2 hours.
To be honest, I did not raise my hand to speak. I wasn’t sure what my real answer is and I did not want to pretend or give any fake reply.
Been thinking about this question ever since and the answer to it should be our driving factor, our motivation, core of our values. Many questions get answered and clears confusion that one may have. Isn’t it ?
Over the last 30+ working years like anyone else I have had great, good and not so good business experiences. I have met, worked with 100’s of people, achieved results which I can brag about, helped many teams to succeed and experiences I can share with younger executives to learn from. But what is the true yardstick to measure one’s career success or failure ? Definitely money can’t be it, then is it the brands you worked for ? Is it the results that you have achieved ? Technologies you help introduced ? Promotions you got ? Deals you won ? Profits delivered ? Work life balance you maintained or didn't ? Customers you managed ? Longevity in a job ? LinkedIn followers you have ? Size of business ? Super normal valuation of the startup ? Creating a new brand ? These are indeed important achievements and we are given the business responsibility to manage the above but is it all ?
Actually we should be able to measure our success by comparing what is the legacy we want to leave and how much of it have we achieved so far. As I think about it, if the team and the manager we work for also share a similar intent then we will enjoy our work and will have fun delivering results quarter after quarter. This also helps us decide in those crucial moments of business life, what's the right course of action. What do you say ? I found my answer later and I am very happy how unconsciously, relentlessly and uncompromisingly I have been chasing this objective and achieved quite a lot on that scale, much more to achieve though.
So what’s the business legacy you want to leave and how much of it have you achieved so far ? This is something to think about.
Himanshu is a transformative business leader with three decades of experience in the telecom industry. He is currently the managing director of Syniverse and has extensive experience working in MNC’s like Microsoft, IBM, and CISCO. He polished his management skills studying at the University of Chicago Booth school of business and INSEAD, an extensive education program in strategy, finance, and general business. He is also an angel investor and believes startups can solve the job crisis of India.