Rob Redenbach on Results vs Legacy

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Results vs Legacy | Rob Redenbach | Leadership speaker - 10 February 2020

Results vs Legacy | Rob Redenbach | Leadership speaker

When it comes to leadership, Rob Redenbach knows how leaders can build a legacy to be proud of. His incredible life story saw him work with Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard team, survive a roadside ambush in Baghdad and provide security to aid-workers in the Middle East. Drawing from his experience, Rob now inspires high-performing organisations around the world and equips leaders with practical tools for building collaborative and resilient teams. Here’s what Rob has to say on how leaders can deliver worthwhile results. 

Legacy of Leadership

At one time Lance Armstrong was acclaimed the world's greatest ever cyclist. His extraordinary achievements included winning the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times. When the truth came out in 2012 about his extensive use of banned performance enhancing substances, his titles were wiped from the record books and, among other losses, he was quickly stripped of US$75 million in sponsorship. Today, his legacy can be summarised in six words: 'Lance Armstrong was a drug cheat' – which is probably not what he was aiming for in 2000 when he wrote his autobiography It's Not About the Bike.  

As a cautionary tale, Armstrong's fall from grace perfectly illustrates what can happen when an individual fixates on results at the expense of authenticity. The Banking Royal Commission provided a similar example of an endemic preoccupation with results when leading financial institutions were found guilty of a multitude of reprehensible business practices (that sank to charging dead people for life insurance), while the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the breathtaking arrogance of church leaders, indifferent to the safety and wellbeing of children in their care, as they made the reputation of their organisation their single priority.  

What connects the likes of Armstrong with such corporations and organisations is a lack of empathy. That one attribute, more than anything else, is what separates great leaders from toxic ones. Choose any leader you like, living or dead, and consider their legacy. If they consistently acted from a foundation of empathy, almost invariably their legacy is impressive. Even when they made mistakes (which no leader is exempt from), history generally views those mistakes kindly. But when a leader is primarily driven by a narcissistic disregard for anyone but themselves, they are remembered, like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned, for their worst mistakes.

Interested in knowing more about Rob? Click here


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