How To Leave A Legacy: 5 Ways

There is a common misunderstanding that a legacy is what is given to people after a life transition, the most common example being personal property assigned to someone in a will.  A true legacy is defined partially by the “what,” but most importantly by the difference it makes in our lives.  The more powerful the legacy, the bigger the impact we experience.

While great orators can leave a legacy in a few memorable words and the genius of an innovator a lasting improvement that saves lives, anyone can leave an important legacy for those who follow.  This is particularly true for leadership development, where we can leave a legacy by:

  • Using a teaching model for aspiring leaders that explores the experiences of planning, decision-making, and implementation as opportunities to emphasize principles rather than specific facts.
  • While recognizing individual accomplishment, focusing more on team success and the business version of “the common good.”
  • Encouraging the simple skill of listening.  While there are remarkable leaders who have made great decisions in the moment, there are many more thoughtful business leaders whose skills were based on their willingness to first listen.
  • Helping others to recognize their talents and not be overly burdened with the fear of failure.
  • Emphasizing the importance of choosing your life’s work based on personal meaning and commitment, even if it means considering another career direction.  This is also another take on honesty.

Integrity is one of the most enduring values because it transcends all professions and disciplines.  It is a theme that runs through most meaningful legacies, inspiring us and our children.