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What Does Legacy Mean to You? – Allison Radecki

High-achieving professional women contemplate leadership in the context of legacy

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The L³ Alliance (Lifestyle, Legacy, and Leading by example) is the women’s group for the Wells International Foundation. Founder & CEO, Dr. Monique Y. Wells, believes it is important for high-achieving professional women to keep the idea of legacy “top of mind” and to observe how doing so influences their impact as leaders. She invites women leaders to reflect on this concept by contributing to the What Does Legacy Mean to You? article series.

For our first article of the new decade, Allison Radecki shares her thoughts on legacy. An Information Technology and Digital Executive, she leads the delivery of industry-changing, revenue-generating, digital technology solutions that transform how consumer product companies compete in a digital marketplace. Radecki currently serves as Chief Information Officer at Beam Suntory, “a world leader in premium spirits with a mission of inspiring human connections.”

L³ Alliance: What does the word “legacy” mean to you?

AR: To me, the word “legacy” means contributing to a cause for long-term, sustainable, positive impact.  This cause varies depending on the different roles I perform throughout the day.  My cause can be the community, an organization, a team, a platform I believe in, or even an individual.

L³ Alliance: How does it apply to you right now as a woman who is a leader in your field?

AR: Legacy drives me to ensure that my daily actions contribute to leaving my life passions in an overall better place.  Based on my different leadership roles, this falls into three main categories.

First, I have three teenage daughters at home.  In my role as a mother, I’m focused on nurturing their educational, physical and emotional well-being to set them up for success in their life journey.  These girls are my legacy. 

Second, in my senior leader role within my organization, Beam Suntory, I’m focused on building the talent and the technology platform to become the digital experience leader in the premium spirits industry.  For my digital and information technology team members, this means unlocking their potential and maximizing their growth so that we all leave the organization in a better place than when we joined.

Lastly, in my profession in the community as a female technology leader, I’m creating a pathway for future female leaders to be able to thrive in a diverse and inclusive workplace – 50% of my IT leadership team is currently female – and creating the next generation of women STEM leaders through mentoring students and new professionals entering the workforce. 

L³ Alliance: Do you believe there is a relationship between leadership and legacy?

AR: Yes, I believe that there is a relationship but not a dependency.

L³ Alliance: Describe for us what the relationship is.

AR: As a senior leader, I feel the responsibility to continually strive to create my legacy.  Sharing my purpose and vision of what this legacy looks like for me, in an authentic manner, incites passion and enrolls others.  

In my experience, not everyone has this long-term legacy mindset.  When I’ve reported to a leader who is driven to creating a legacy and who has shared this legacy with me, I’ve found this to be a much more inspirational leader verses a person leading to solely meet annual goals and metrics.

L³ Alliance: How can keeping legacy “top of mind” help you be a better leader?

AR: I continually try to align legacy to my self-purpose of unlocking potential, which then keeps legacy top of mind.  Staying in balance – whatever that balance means to me at that point of time – and grounded in my purpose, helps ensure that the interactions and decisions that I make in the short-term on a day-to-day basis, ladder up to the legacy, making me a more effective leader in the long-term.

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