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Defining Your Legacy

For the final quarter of the year, we are going to shift our focus to topics and activities that help us in our quest to define our legacy.

What is a Legacy? I view legacy as the mark you make with your life and through the work you do, the positive impact you have on others and the riches or resources you bequeath to others.

Some may never create a legacy with riches or resources, but that does not eliminate the possibility of creating a long and lasting impact through your actions. How you treat others and the work you do makes an impact. The impact may also come from being part of a team or an organization that impacts many others.

If you’re a leader, your legacy is formed by the way you lead and how many individuals you helped find their calling. When we take on a leadership role, we may not think about how our actions or interactions as a leader become part of our legacy, however your impact may be much more than you realize.

When I think of my personal legacy, right now it’s very much related to the reputation I have built as a leader within the corporate environments in which I’ve worked and it’s in the work I do today as a Leadership coach developing leaders.

To define your Legacy, consider these key actions:

1. Get Clear on Your Mission

Some may call your mission your purpose, your “Why”, or your calling. If you have not discovered it yet, consider doing some work on what it might be. Simon’s Sinek workbook Find Your Why could be a great help.

Your mission should be something you have passion about. A mission without passion will eventually run out of steam and won’t keep you going if you experience setbacks or challenges. This is where enjoying the work you do becomes important. I was once asked would I do what I do even if I was not paid – if you can answer “yes” to that you have found your mission.

2. Determine Who You Will Serve

Once you’ve identified your mission, decide who it is that will be served as a result of your mission. As a coach focused on Leadership development, I want anyone who raises their hands to become a leader to want to lead with a Servant’s heart. A servant leader demonstrates with their actions that they desire to help others grow and find success. Even if it is aligned with your mission, leadership requires work and is not for anyone looking for an easy route to glory. As we know, you are really only a leader when others choose to follow you. They will follow you if your actions show that you have a servant’s heart.

3. Be Intentional with Your Actions

The last key action is to be intentional with your actions in service of your mission. We’ve written a bit on intentionality and how to be more intentional.

Identify some key actions you can take to work on your mission and serve those you’ve identified. Get started by starting small. One small intentional step daily can lead to big results.

Happiness is not a’s a by-product of a life well lived. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Impact of a Life Well Lived

This weekend my family celebrated the Legacy of a woman that is very special to me – Jo Alice – my Maternal Grandmother. Born on Friday the 13th, 1933 she turned 90!

Throughout her life my Grandma has been the ultimate giver – taking care of everyone around her. She has been a servant in pursuit of her mission – to take care of her family and many others.

Her impact stretches beyond the family she has loved and taken care of, it stretches to all those who her life has touched, the community in which she has worked and the individuals that she took care of through her work.

I know that when I look back on my life I want it to be one that is well lived and one of great purpose. When you think of Legacy – what does it mean to you?

Books We’re Reading this Quarter:

  • Rising Together by Sally Helgesen will help us see the impact we can have when we are inclusive.

  • Grit by Angela Duckworth to help us see that power of combining passion with perseverance.

  • Leading from the Front by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch because any focus on Legacy must include Leadership in our opinion.

Comment about our 4th quarter theme on legacy by becoming a site member. We’d love to know what you’re working on the last quarter of this year.

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