The Lighthouse Of Legacy

by  Scott Mautz  |  Self Leadership
The Lighthouse Of Legacy

Each and every one of you is currently in a pivotal moment. You just might not know it.

Is your business languishing in the face of an unprecedented level of challenge from a particularly fierce competitor? Are you being forced to continually do more with less, pushing you beyond the brink of effectiveness?

Perhaps your friends and family are quietly suffering because you are simply working too much, or you are not present enough when you are with them.

Whatever the circumstance you find yourself in, you may well be in a pivotal moment; you just have to recognize it and decide it’s time to take control of the kind of legacy you leave.

It may be time to envision a greater legacy, then get after it with such energy that it recasts the challenges you are facing and expands the impact of your future moments in meaningful ways.

Five Footprints Of Legacy

Introducing The Five Footprints of Legacy – the ways we tend to leave legacies behind at work and in life. Get to work on making such imprints, even a few, each day and enjoy the daily doses of meaning that go along with those efforts.

Enduring Results

These are major accomplishments that you envision, invest in, drive to realization, and ultimately leave behind that you can look back at years from now with pride and say, “I did that. That simply would not have happened if it were not for me.” And by major accomplishments I don’t just mean you restructured your company. Major can certainly be impressive results but also can simply mean real things you did that touched real lives of real people

Transfer Of Knowledge

When we take the time to share what we have learned with others, it is one of the most direct ways we can have a lasting impact. At work, this takes the form of the investment we make in coaching others and in sharing information beyond what’s merely required for employees to do their jobs.

Passing On Values and Life Lessons

The values we choose to live and exemplify and the lessons we pass on have a reverberating impact on those who we interact with every day – more resonant than we can imagine. Said another way, the little daily impressions we make, inspired by or in spite of our values, makes a huge permanent impression.

Relationships and Lives Serviced

When we invest in relationships in our lives, it produces meaningful connections. Yet for many of us, hectic days, which can be spent doing tasks bereft of meaning, prevent us from making even little investments in relationships ripe with meaning. Putting energy into relationships that matter to us will matter in the end. Relatedly, to touch lives is to live in service of others. A simple truth is that people don’t remember us for what we do for ourselves, they remember us for what we do for them. Want to leave a legacy behind? Live in service of others with a desire to touch the lives of as many as you can in your time on this planet. There is a wonderful proverb that says: “If you are intentional about living a meaningful life and leaving a legacy behind, you never really die. Instead, you break into 1000 pieces, each of which stays alive within the people whose lives you’ve touched along the way.”

Stories Told About You

The last way we tend to leave a legacy behind is through the stories told about us. What are the big, sweeping tales that characterize who you are? What will be said about you from the heart, when no one is looking? How did you live your life?

Make no mistake. Stories will be told about you. As author Charles de Lint said, “We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on.” Find out what your narrative is, then hire yourself as an editor of the eternal and rewrite as necessary.


What “footprints of legacy” can you share?
Photo Credit: Morguefile

About The Author

Articles By scott-mautz
Scott Mautz is author of Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning , which was just named a “Best Book of 2015” by Soundview BusinessBooks. He’s also an award winning keynote speaker, and a 20+ year veteran of Procter & Gamble, having run several thriving, multi-billion dollar divisions along the way. Connect with Scott at www.makeitmatterbook.com.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

John E. Smith  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Thanks for sharing , Scott.

Your post is chock full of useful advice about coaching, but one thing really stood out for me. The point entitled “Transfer of Knowledge”. Too often, I think organizations view this as simply updating and codifying processes and procedures, instead of the way you describe it.

I love the image of someone sitting down with someone else and having a discussion about lessons learned along the way, especially when that involves more than just doing the job. I know this is not coaching in the pure sense, but it seems to blend leadership, training, mentoring, and coaching quite nicely.

Maybe we should call this “Wisdom Transfer” instead:).


Scott Mautz  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

John, “Wisdom transfer”- I like it! What you say is so true. So many view the transfer of knowledge as process driven, not poignancy driven.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.

Page Cole  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Whenever I hear the word “legacy”, I’m reminded of the influence each of my parents have had on my life…

Enduring Results
Transfer Of Knowledge
Passing On Values And Life Lessons
Relationships And Lives Serviced
Stories Told About You

These are all areas where my parents excelled! They are both in Heaven now, but your article was a warm reminder that the legacy they left in my life will always be there!

You couldn’t have made it clearer, or drawn a clearer road map to successfully leaving a legacy that matters! Thank you!

Scott Mautz  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Thanks so much Page and thanks for highlighting another important point, you can work at each of these 5 footprints to leave a legacy at work, and in life!

Joe Myers  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Scott…This is a great way of expressing the components of a legacy. I have been working on a book explaining what I learned from summer and/or part-time employment before entering the full-time workforce after college graduation. I’ve concluded that I learned more about business, and the demands thereof; as a summer, part-time employee than I learned in college. The lessons learned became a significant part of my business DNA.

Thanks again for your brilliant insight.

Scott Mautz  |  30 Apr 2015  |  Reply

Thank you Joe! I too fondly recall the very formative days of summer/part time employment. I’ll keep an eye out for your book!

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