I am in the second week of a vacation together with my son’s family. It is the first time away with my grandson which has been great fun. Seeing 3 generations of my family together in one place has me reflecting on what I would like my legacy to be. What am I building which will be a great platform on which future generations can build? As leaders our focus must be to build a lasting legacy, which means building with intentionality. A legacy by accident will not stand the test of time or be of sufficient depth to benefit generations coming up behind you.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon Adler
The older I get the more I can see that true legacy is about people. When leaders enable others to grow and develop you create a culture which in turn perpetuates the same. What kind of legacy do you want to build? Building a legacy starts now, so what questions should you consider?
Building a great legacy
- People first. Those you lead know when stuff matters more than those you lead. What will you do differently that shows you are working for the highest good of those around you?
- Character – what do you want people to be saying about your leadership when you are no longer around?
- What would you want people to be saying about your values?
- Your values reflect your heart, to be affected into the longer term you must connect as a leader at a heart level. What do you care about? What do you stand for?
- What you measure matters – those you lead will quickly pick up on what earns your respect and praise. If those things are not what you really value this will impact the quality of your legacy.
- Model the behaviour you want to see. If the growth and development of people is a high value for you then the environment, you create around you should reflect it. What do you need to model to create what you want to see?
- Successful leaders who build a great legacy do it by being themselves. Letting people see who they are and how they deal with the challenges and storms of life. How are you at being vulnerable?
To finish this blog here are a few quotes from people I believe are creating or have created a lasting quality legacy:
“The natural progression of leadership, according to Maxwell, is as follows: achievement comes when you do great things by yourself, success comes when you empower your employees to do great things for you, significance comes from developing leaders to do great things with you, and legacy comes when you put leaders in a position to do great things without you.” John Maxwell
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” Billy Graham
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)
I am sure like me you are inspired by someone, life is not a rehearsal, go out and build a legacy that builds and launches others.