From 1930 to 1972, Adolph Rupp had an amazing forty-one seasons as the basketball coach at the University of Kentucky. His teams won five national championships and were the perennial power in the Southeastern Conference. Rupp’s forty-one season winning percentage was 82.2. The legacy of Adolph Rupp placed tremendous pressure upon the coach that was to follow him.
Joe B. Hall was the man who followed Rupp at Kentucky. The legacy he received placed almost unrealistic expectations upon him. But Joe B. Hall left a legacy of great expectations himself. During Hall’s thirteen years as head coach at Kentucky, his teams had three final four appearances and one national championship in the NCAA basketball tournament. While at Kentucky, Hall’s winning percentage was 74.8.
What does this have to do with leadership? Plenty. Whether it be on our jobs, in service clubs or elsewhere, most of us live with the legacy of a previous leader. It is important that we not be intimidated by the legacy of our predecessors. It is also important to realize that even though we received a legacy, just like Joe B. Hall, we will be leaving one.
What kind of legacy will you leave for the leader that follows you? What you do, either helps or hinders the work of the one who follows. Just as you received a legacy from your predecessor, someone will receive one from you. Make sure the legacy you leave is more than success. Good leaders leave legacies of excellence, honesty and integrity.