Most of us in professional services marketing clearly understand that we must meet expectations that are really not our own—shareholder expectations, board expectations, market expectations. But what about your own "Leadership Legacy"? Have you thought about your personal hopes, goals, desires, and expectations for creating an impact on your firm?

The authors of the new book Your Leadership Legacy: Why Looking toward the Future will Make You a Better Leader Today, Rob Galford and Regina Maruca, explain in an interview in Management Consulting News what they mean by the term:

Legacy thinking is about the day-to-day. What decisions am I making today? How am I spending my time? How am I acting? How am I influencing others' thinking/behaviors/outlook today? Am I satisfied, even happy, with my actions and the effect I might be having on others today? (Maruca)

Your legacies are defined by others. But right now, without huge effort, you can gain enough perspective about yourself to see how those legacies are taking shape, and you can try to influence them for the better. (Galford)

The people who are in marketing leadership positions at professional firms today will have an enormous impact on the shape of the profession in the next decade. How conscious and intentional about their leadership are senior-level professional marketers today? Do they have a sense that they are shaping the future of the profession?

There was one way to find out. I sent queries to some senior marketers at prominent global service firms asking them to share a sentence or two about the hopes and aspirations they have for their impact on others, and the actions they will take to bring their legacies to fruition.

Leadership: Intentional or Accidental?

As I awaited the responses, I had high expectations. As a business owner of a 10-year-old firm, I have had to deliberately contemplate, and occasionally re-clarify, my own personal aspirations for my career and business trajectory. I wanted to hear how others considered this concept. Imagine my surprise when several responses came back like those shown below:

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Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.