Most if not all of us tend to think about the legacy that we will leave behind some day. For some it is confined to their family. For some it is related to their profession. For some it is an initiative they began. For some it is the difference they make in a person’s life. And for some it is about mass change and impact. In one way or the other all of us think about how we want to be remembered someday. And for those who have not thought about it perhaps this post might ignite that thought process.
But is a legacy supposed to be a complicate planned process? Or is it determined by our everyday conduct? Every choice, every word, every action leaves a mark somewhere and that ultimately is what becomes our legacy. While the title of this post was written for a dramatic effect (there’s my confession), can a legacy truly be killed? Or does it turn from a ‘good’ legacy to a ‘bad’ one? As always there may not be a right or wrong answer but rather a matter of perspective. However, when I was thinking of writing this post I had a few points in mind that I have seen can lead to the apparent death of a legacy.
A legacy is more about immersion rather than superiority. One does not simply gain respect from those around them by virtue of their financial position, their age, their experience or thought process. Respect has to be earned by immersing oneself together with those around us – be it as a leader or as a follower. People need to understand and believe in one’s vision and feel a part of it before they can adopt it as well.
A legacy is more about empowerment rather than control. All our decisions and actions must spark growth in those around us. It is not about giving instructions and getting the tasks done and milestones accomplished. It is about individual growth and the ownership of those decisions. It is that kind of capacity building and empowerment that will leave a mark for times to come.
A legacy is more about creating partners rather than workers or followers. As the famous saying goes – if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go together with others (#paraphrase). The point being that long term visions can seldom be achieved by one individual. While that person can be the initiator of the thought process real accomplishment will heavily rely on a good team.
A legacy is more about providing a vision rather than resources. While the resources you can or do provide can make you feel essential one must remember that resources can come from various avenues. A good vision will attract resources often from unexpected sources. A good vision will drive the team to become resourceful and productive rather than dependent.
A legacy is more about impact than it is about quantity. We live today in a world of data and statistics. A time of democracy where numbers are determinants of success or failure. But when it comes to real impact do the numbers matter? Do large numbers necessarily mean greater impact? One must ensure that their vision promotes great impact be it even for one individual and believe in the ‘butterfly effect’ of that impact.
As always the choice of what we leave behind lies with us. At times it may be difficult to critically determine the consequences of our own choices and actions. But a good glance within and the authentic feedback from those around us will often show a sign. Perhaps it is those signs that we must look out for and not be afraid to accept the changes that we may need to make. Hanging on to something in the guise of a legacy can often undo the good that we may have done in the process. Let’s try our best to not be the murderers of our own legacies.
#LookWithin #SeekFeedback #LeaveALegacy #UseYourPotential