Leaving A Legacy… Worth Leaving

by  John Ikeda  |  Self Leadership

While promoting Leading With Honor, I sometimes get asked, why? Why take the time and effort to Lead With Honor? Society teaches us that success comes from focusing on the 3 P’s – Power, Prestige and Profit. There is certainly nothing wrong with these in and of themselves. As a leader you will certainly encounter these on your journey through life. However, the leader who leads with honor, understands that chasing the 3 P’s needs to be tempered with humility, compassion and a great deal of responsibility. That without these caveats, the unbridled pursuit of the 3 P’s at all costs, will wreak havoc on a community.

This understanding, that there is more to life than just money, fame and fortune, is what keeps civilization going. It is the counterweight to greed that evens the balance and allows man to be civil. Without it, mankind is doomed. It is this understanding that sets the honorable leader apart from the rest of the pack. It is also unfortunately, a distinction that forces the honorable leader to journey down a lonely road. To watch quietly as others chase the 3 P’s and achieve what appears to be the trappings of success. Leading with honor demands that you take the more difficult road. It requires dedication, diligence and yes, sacrifice.

Instead of chasing the 3 P’s, the leader who leads with honor thinks about his or her legacy. What will be left behind, when the game pieces of life go back in the box? Will there just be money in the bank and plaques on the wall? Or will there be others left behind to carry on your work? Your legacy. What will people say they learned from you? How many people did you help? What kind of impact will they say you had on them? Did you teach them to run people over and grab all they can? Or will they say that you made their life a little better by the things that you said and did?

Leading With Honor is vital to the survival of civilization. As the world shrinks in size due to globalization and advances in technology, I can only imagine what will happen without it. War, Crime and Poverty will all become prevalent. A return to the middle ages would not be out of the question. Don’t fool yourself, we’ve been there before and can return there again. That is why we must lead with honor. To ensure that civilization, and the people in it, all people, have the right and freedom to pursue a life of liberty and happiness.

I’ll leave you with a song made famous by Nicole Nordeman, called Legacy. What is your legacy going to be? If you’re open to sharing… please leave us your thoughts on what you want your legacy to be.

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What People Are Saying

Chad Balthrop  |  26 Jan 2011  |  Reply

Hey John,

Great post. You said, “This understanding, that there is more to life than just money, fame and fortune, is what keeps civilization going.” That is a great observation. It reminds me of the second greatest commandment in the Bible, “…love people.” Leadership may move circumstances forward. Leadership may accomplish a task or get a job done, but leading with honor is what will keep civilization moving forward.

Thanks, God Bless,

BTW – the legacy I want to leave behind, “…that I served God in my generation and that the generations to follow would be blessed by God because of me.”

Nelson  |  26 Jan 2011  |  Reply

Very hopeful text!

I agree a lot and also with Chad, this kind of leadership is necessary and all religions have been trying to develop it.

Although, I was actually recently thinking about what you said, John, about lonely. Why the necessary leaders, who pursuit a legacy instead of only 3P’s, are admired but not emulated?

If society only want 3P’s, should a legacy leader make his path ou should he use his skills to also follow the 3P? If society only wants 3P’s, should not it deserve only the 3P’s?

My legacy? For now, create positive change and grow other people who also make a difference in mankind.

John  |  27 Jan 2011  |  Reply

Hi Nelson…

Great questions. I ask myself this ALL the time. Should I chase the 3Ps, or do I pursue something different. There is also a question of scale here. How much do I chase the 3Ps? Do I chase it 100% or the time? 50% of the time? Or… is it even possible for mortals like us to not chase it all. How much is too much? And… the other point you bring up is great too. Can we REALLY change a society that worships movie stars and athletes by paying them millions of dollars, and leaves man people without healthcare?

Richard Robbins  |  26 Jan 2011  |  Reply

Great post! It’s not what you for others… it’s what you leave in other.

John  |  27 Jan 2011  |  Reply

Hi Chad…. thanks for coming by and reading and sharing. There is nothing greater that we can do, than to love people. I wish there were more people that served God, instead of the 3Ps. The earth would be a better place because of it. Thanks for taking up the charge.

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