How soon is it too soon to start thinking about your legacy?
- Are you going to wait until you near the end of your career and then try to cram in a bunch of noble gestures before receiving your proverbial gold watch?
- Or are you building the ladder now to enable future leaders to climb even higher with your legacy as a guide?
Much of my adult life has been spent serving those around me, particularly in the field of response leadership, responding and teaching search and rescue, etc.
Early on, I adopted a motto that has helped me stay focused on the mission:
“Do the most good for the most people as quickly and safely as possible.”
That one sentence has become central to virtually every aspect of my personal and professional life. (That, and “never pass up a bathroom, a meal or a nap”, but I digress)
- The bonus is that I can naturally measure my contributions against that motto, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
- So, if my kids and other people I’m able to influence grow up always striving to serve something bigger than themselves in a meaningful way … I’ve been successful, even without a gold watch!
In the spirit of planning ahead, another successful strategy is to look at the legacy that you received from others.
- Maybe it’s the guy or gal who’s job you took over? Did they leave a legacy for you to meet and exceed? How can you leave the job better for the next person?
- Maybe it’s a parent, teacher, etc.? Did they encourage you to ‘improve the breed’ (a common instruction from my father)? How are you building off of their success?
In any case, it’s never too soon to envision how you want the world to remember you. And then to lead definitively in that direction.
So, what’s your legacy?
P.S. I’d be honored and grateful if you would help me build our community. Please share this page with your forward-thinking friends and associates.