What’s your legacy?

Greg Savage’s current tour across Australian and New
Zealand is putting the Savage name up in lights amongst the recruitment
community but it was another Savage, Greg’s younger brother Chris, who
caught my attention this week.


I have previously recommended Chris’s blog,

Wrestling Possums
, to
you, as I have found it to be an excellent read on many issues of
interest to me, both personally and professionally.


Last week’s

Possums post
was a short piece on a conference that Chris recently
attended where he heard cultural expert, Michael Henderson, speak on the
reasons that talented people choose to stay in their job  . These
reasons were:


1. To leave a legacy (to make a difference)

2. A sense of belonging (to work with the best)

3. Personal growth

4. Rank or title (status)

5. Remuneration


Here’s what Chris concluded about these reasons:


Organisations where talent retention is the
highest tend to have three common attributes: a) leaders worth
following, b) work worth doing, and c) a culture worth contributing to.


And talented people usually quit because….. of
these three reasons: a) they quit their boss- the leader is not worth
following, b) the work is boring, and c) the culture has become toxic.


After reading Chris’s blog I reflected on my own
employment experiences. Undoubtedly the most enjoyable time I had as an
employee in recruitment was where I felt that I was making a real, and
significant difference through what I was doing every day; with my
clients, my candidates and my colleagues.


Unsurprisingly, that time also coincided with a
strong sense of belonging that I experienced in working with the team I
was part of, and the leaders I was reporting to.


As recruiters, I am sure we have all heard the three
reasons, together, or individually, from candidates (both top talent and
everyone else) as to why they are leaving (or have left) their current
(or recent) job.


How could anybody feel inspired to leave a legacy in
a work environment that comprises an uninspiring boss, boring work
and/or a toxic culture?


The wonderful thing about the job of a recruiter is
that we have such a unique opportunity to leave a legacy every single
day. Every placement you make is one that might turn out to be the one
where the candidate grows into their dream job, or the client hires a
person who transforms their team’s culture or even where your candidate
meets the person who becomes their spouse or they meet a person who
becomes a valued friend.


We genuinely can change people’s lives through the
daily actions we take.


Twenty one years ago, I placed a new migrant Upul, a
Sri Lankan chartered accountant, into his first corporate (temp) job.
From this opportunity he was able to secure a permanent job with a
multi-national company, where he built a career over many years. The
life he has built for himself and his family in Australia is one that
fuels the aspirations of many similar migrants. We have remained in
touch, and become friends over those years.


In early 2011 Upul called me and invited me to speak
at his 50th birthday party. On the night of the party Upul
introduced me as the person who had known him the longest, had helped
him find work when he first arrived in Australia and who best understood
the journey he had been on since he arrived in Australia as a 31 year


I was greatly touched to be asked to give such a
significant speech and at the same time I felt very privileged that my
work as a recruiter had afforded me the opportunity to make such a
difference in the life of another person.


Three months ago, veteran executive recruiter,

John Colebatch
wrote movingly about his own, far more significant,
experience of leaving a legacy that left a family very, very grateful
for John’s skills and values.


I am no longer a recruiter but the importance of my
legacy continues to drive my work every day.


The legacy I hope I am creating in what I do as a
recruitment trainer, coach, speaker and blogger is: 

  • raising the standard of recruitment practices
    everywhere recruitment is undertaken
  • raising the standard of business practices within
    recruitment agencies
  • raising the profile of recruitment as a
    legitimate and fulfilling career choice
  • promoting recruitment as a critical business
How successfully I am fulfilling these objectives is
best answered by my target audience (ie you!), but I am certainly
motivated each and every day in both researching and delivering my


My job is never boring and I see many opportunities
to be better at fulfilling on each and every aspect of the legacy I am
striving to create.


What’s the legacy you are creating in your current


If you don’t know, I would suggest you discover it. I
know it will make a massive difference to the way in which you approach
your work and the subsequent quality of your output.

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