A legacy is something you pass on to future generations. It can be a financial gift, inheritance, so to speak. Alternatively, a common thing these days is the thought of the personal impact that will remain after you are gone.
My sister was telling me she had received a speaking assignment where the topic was “Leaving a Legacy.” I have been thinking about what I would say if I were so assigned. Here are some immediate thoughts:
- Start with your family. If you are blessed to have children or grandchildren or influence other family members, take that responsibility seriously. Be a model for hard work and integrity. Help them find their passion and pursue it. Assure they are exposed to all the experiences that can be provided. Demonstrate character and integrity in the trials of life.
- Find good teams. Legacies are not created alone. Legacy builders have a unique understanding of the role of teamwork and community in accomplishing “lasting” accomplishments. They seek those teams with which to participate.
- Invest in talent. While a CEO can “invest” in talent by devoting financial resources to training, recruitment, and compensation. I am speaking of something different. From the time to time, we encounter people with special talents and abilities. Their passion and heart cause them to stand out. When you see them, “invest.” Give them your time. Allow them into your network. Do them a favor. Follow their career. You make a difference when you encourage talent.
- Engage and initiate. Most of the people who create a legacy do not know that is what they are doing when they get started. At the time, it just seemed like it was something that needed to be done. They saw a need because they were “engaged.” They “initiated” because someone needed to do something. Legacies will not find you. You will find them.
Legacy building is a process. Those who build them are dedicated to “what’s happening” to the world where they live. Join in with those trying to change their world. Lead where you stand. It makes your life count.