At our granddaughter’s recent high school graduation ceremony, one of the speakers talked about the future legacy for each of the graduating seniors. For them it was a look forward, and more of a “I will be” statement. But since you, like me, are likely well past high school, it might be a good time to look back and assess what our legacies as leaders would be.

Here is a definition that I found useful:

Your Personal Legacy is more than simply a statement of how you wish to be remembered after you pass on. It is something that enriches your life and reveals you and what your life is about to your family, friends, and your community.

Lisa Haisha, Creator of Transformative Therapy, Soul Blazing and Host of The Legacy Series, says it better.

“Remember, it’s not what we leave FOR others that matters; it’s what we leave IN them that matters most. Possessions and wealth do not make a true legacy. It is about leaving behind the essence of your Authentic Soul. That is what the world needs from you. So, serve others by leaving behind the best and most beautiful parts of you. Today, and every day, create your legacy.”

As a leader there are a few key legacy questions that you might ask about yourself:

Are you inspirational?

Leaders are tasked with getting the job done and inspiring their people to new heights. Not only in achieving business results but making everyone stretch beyond their comfort zone. If everyone strives to achieve some personal best, then you have achieved this goal. I am reminded of a television advertisement during the Summer Olympics several years ago that started “You don’t win the silver medal, you lose the gold.”  This was roundly panned and quickly disappeared from the airwaves. Striving for something and coming up short may be disappointing but personally enriching especially if you have achieved a personal best to win the silver medal. That does not sound like losing to me. Are you urging your people to stretch beyond where they have been successful and get out of their comfort zone?

Are you a mentor?

An executive recruiter once asked aspiring CEO candidates to name three people who he could call and who would say that their career was positively influenced by that individual. That is a powerful question. Can you name three people who would say you helped them get ahead in their career?

How will you be remembered?

The phrase “live your dash” comes from a poem titled “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. It means to be mindful that we are only on this earth a little while. It means to spend each day with passion and purpose, and to inspire others by living a life of joy, compassion, and kindness. Here is the poem for your reading enjoyment and contemplation.


 by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard; are there things you would like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash? If you would like more information about coaching and leadership development, contact The Bailey Group  www.thebaileygroup.com

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