Demonstrate THIS to Leave a Lasting Leadership Legacy

Posted by Kristin Arnold on September 12, 2023

lasting leadership legacy

Hello Extraordinary Team Friends!

Today’s blog is from my good friend and colleague, Michael Kerr who specializes in creating “Outrageously Inspiring Workplace Cultures.”  I first read it on LinkedIn and thought, “This would be an awesome blog post!”  So here is this week’s blog, thanks to Michael for sharing it with us!

“I’ve always thought that the sitcom The Office should be mandatory viewing for senior leaders to remind themselves of how not to lead.

After all, as Groucho Marx once said, ‘We should learn from the mistakes of others. We don’t have time to make them all ourselves.’

Speaking of The Office (I’m so glad you brought it up), I just finished reading, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene. The book gave me the inspiration for this week’s message. It’s not earth-shattering, yet it’s ridiculously important. Are you ready to hear it?


One of the recurring themes in this book is how genuinely loved and respected Steve Carell was throughout his stint playing the less-than-ideal boss Michael Scott. Carell was a consummate professional in everything he did. He was courteous. Respectful. Kind. Generous.

He never said a bad word about anyone. He helped the crew unload from the van. He put others at ease. He was playful. He brought his sense of humor along for the ride. He didn’t want to be the only funny one – he wanted everyone to be funny. Colleague after colleague described him as a true class act and perhaps the nicest person they had ever worked with in their entire career.

Given his status and exhausting schedule he could have been a major-league jerk. But Carell chose (and let’s remember, it’s a choice we make every day) to be thoughtful and kind. And because he was so kind and so respected, he built up a huge supply of goodwill capital: His colleagues always supported him when he needed a big favor (such as taking a mid-season hiatus to star in a movie).

He made the choice to be kind every day to everyone he interacted with, and by doing so Steve Carell left behind a lasting, positive legacy.

So, what choice are you making every day at work?

What legacy do you hope to leave in your wake?

If someone penned a book about your workplace 10 years after you left your job, what would they write about you?”

Related Articles:

How Does Your Past Influence Your Leadership and Teamwork?

What Kind of Team Leader Are You?

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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

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