What LEGACY are you leaving?
When working with clients, one of the first questions I generally ask is the legacy they wish to leave?
It is a powerful question and one which few clients have considered. People often get to an answer with several prompts but are also often dumbfounded when asking the question. Even for relatively-mature business people or organisational leads, it is not something they consider.
Which I find strange, or is pursuing money endlessly a purpose in itself?
I happen to think not, as my drive has always been about making a difference, helping others, or seeking personal growth.
How might I help you?
The legacy I think of is part of your history, when you move on or stop what you are doing now, or something that remains from an earlier time in your life. I tend to think of it as immaterial, as in a style or philosophy.
I experienced something of my legacy when I undertook my final BNI session as a Director Consultant on Friday 26th February 2021. I received fabulous feedback, praise, and gratitude from the chapter members. It mirrored two other events earlier that week at my final chapter meeting on Wednesday and a chapter social on Thursday.
The chapter social was particularly poignant, as the Vice President, in collaboration with my wife, gave a This is Your Life presentation. Present were close family, chapter members, and BNI colleagues from around the region, including our two Co-Executive Directors. Full of pictures and stories from throughout my life, particularly on my contribution as a BNI member, humbled me. I cried, I laughed, and I may have even sworn. I also felt immensely proud of the journey we all travelled together.
A Framework for Thinking Legacy
That night, and the other two experiences, brought the notion of legacy sharply into focus.
As many clients struggle with the concept, I thought to offer a framework for thinking about your legacy. It was shared with me by my dear friend, Lyn Hatch.
L is for Leadership
Great leaders create other leaders. Do you lead your life well? Do you motivate and inspire people to deliver a vision. Do you have a distinct purpose in mind before you take any action? Do you have the big picture in mind? Are you looking to influence others to serve the greater good? Are you a servant leader?
E is for Empowerment
As a leader, do you give your staff the tools and resources necessary to make confident decisions in the workplace without tight supervision? Does your team thrive in your business? Do you believe your team has the ability and desire for more responsibility?
G is for Growth
As a leader, are you focused on your personal growth, as well as the development of your team? Are you always looking for a better you? Do you focus on success, happiness, maturity, and well-being? Are you looking to develop positive life skills and realistic and healthy self-esteem?
A is for Achievement
As a leader, do you set realistic goals? Do you achieve those goals through high ideals, a willingness to make the right call regardless of risks, and actions based on creating what matters? Do you celebrate with your team when they meet or exceed expectations?
C is for Character
Do you possess the top five attributes that define character-based leadership – integrity, trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, openness, and motivation? Do you communicate honestly and clearly?
Y is for You
I believe that people who possess strong character will create a better world for everyone and that character-based and servant leadership is vital to our society's social, moral, economic and political framework. Leadership comes from within, and so does your legacy.
Every legacy requires that we:
- Employ our strengths
- Hold to our 'big picture' perspective, building on our successes
- Live within our passions
Finally, are you keen to know what your legacy might be?
Reflect on and determine your answers to these questions:
- What are your strengths?
- What are your successes?
- What are your passions?