Whether you are young or old or somewhere in the middle, there is no time like now to begin thinking about your personal and professional legacy. In the early years of your career a vision of lifelong legacy can guide and inspire you to greater heights and bigger success. If you are nearing retirement then sharing your years of experience with those who follow in your footsteps can give your life new meaning and ensure that you stay engaged and enthused. Everyone in between, meanwhile, will enjoy both sets of benefits since they are transitioning out of one phase of life and into another.
Tie your legacy to what you love, what you value in life, and how you want to be remembered.
- Bill and Melinda Gates devoted their lives to curing and eradicating diseases like polio and malaria, even as Bill continued to shoulder executive leadership responsibilities at Microsoft.
- Scott Neeson – who served as president of 20th Century Fox – took a vacation in Southeast Asia. Then he returned to launch a charity that rescues Cambodian children from abject poverty.
- Leilani Münter, one of the top professional race car drivers in the world, helped shatter her sport’s gender barrier. Meanwhile she’s building a parallel legacy as an environmentalist helping to clean up our oceans and reduce NASCAR’s carbon footprint.
Keep in mind that memorable legacies are based not on carving out a reputation for yourself that will get you noticed. They are all about service to others. When you have a positive life-changing impact on another person, that fuels your legacy and ensures that it will continue to be celebrated and appreciated far into the future.
Take Away Exercises
Ask close friends, family members, confidential colleagues, and any mentors or coaches that you have for input regarding your legacy. What do they think you should pass on to others? You may discover from this kind of 360-review that you have talents and experiences to share that you didn’t realize.
A new business will create a unique positioning statement in order to encapsulate its brand, mission, and vision. Likewise, to help you bring your legacy into focus you should write a UPS about it. Take notes of ideas that come to you or examples of legacies left by others who inspire you. Then write out your own signature legacy’s unique positioning statement.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.
1-800-267-3245 | www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2013, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS