We often look only about as far as the nose on our face. The person we are with, the email in front of us, or the phone in our hand gets our immediate attention. It is extremely hard to look beyond that because in reality there are so many demands on us. It is a struggle to get through what is in front in a given day let alone anything else.
Where are you looking?
Because of that, we rarely look at that future place. That place that shows us how we impact others. We rarely consider the legacy we are leaving behind long after we are gone. More and more is being written about legacy (Kouze and Posner, Forbes and The Federation of Community Social Services British Columbia Leadership 2020) so it stands to reason, we should start paying attention.
Our legacy is our footprint
Our legacy is the print we leave behind. It is our mark on the world and on those we touch along the way. We leave a legacy whether we think about it or not. Our legacy is what people say about us after we have left the room or left the position. Robert Galford and Regina Maruca write one of my favorite definitions of legacy in the book Your Leadership Legacy
“Your legacy is defined by how others approach work and life as a result of having worked with you.”
What would be different for me?
I doubt I thought too much about the long-standing impact I had on my people when I was in a management role. Sure, I wanted them to like me. I wanted them to respect me and I certainly wanted them to do what I told them to do. But beyond the next few weeks and months I didn’t consider. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just never really thought about it. I wish I could go back now and consider how I wanted others to approach their work as a result of having worked with me. I suspect I would have done a few things differently.
Consider your legacy now
How about you? Have you considered your legacy? Why not consider it now? If only for a moment, consider how you want others to approach work and life as a result of working with you. Watch here to get you thinking more.
Do you want to do a legacy assessment? click here to try one.
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