When I am executive coaching and encouraging other leaders one of the tools I often use to get them centered and re-energized is having them reflect on their reasons why they chose their field. If I can get them to reminisce on why they joined their line of work they often are reminded of their passion, skills, and sense of purpose. When we explore reasons “why” in more detail one of the most compelling reasons is providing a comfortable life for their family and creating a legacy for their bloodline.
Creating a legacy must be intentional. It is easy to confuse career success with generational impact. Creating a legacy means that you are creating leaders and a viable path to pass your business and or assets on to. Creating a legacy also requires that you protect your brand and maintain your affairs. Through all of your tribulations, success and hard work, know it is all worth it because you are creating an easier path for those who come after you. Since you are doing it for your “reasons”, do it right!
1. Understand every role in your company
If your goal is to one day incorporate your family into your business and pass it on make it a habit to understand the function of every role in your company. It is easy to get busy and get out of touch with all of its moving parts. It will require effort and it maybe tedious but most of the impactful leaders and managers that I know understand the day to day operations of their entire team. Not only will it make you a more empathetic leader it will make you a better coach to both your current team and the team you plan to pass your entity to. Knowledge is power so know the ins and outs of what matters most to you so that you can pass that power down!
2. Create more leaders
Leaders build other leaders. I say this in almost every video, every blog, and every speech that I give because it’s true and it’s the heart of solid leadership. Be great, be exceptional, but don’t be so ungiving with your time and your wisdom that your businesses and projects fail miserably in your absence. Your business can and should operate at full capacity with or without your presence and if it cannot you have failed and did a grave disservice to your entire team and family. Don’t be a hoarder of knowledge, wit, and visions. Pass it on so that your legacy is viable.
3. Focus on service not success
In reality you can’t pass success down. Success is individually earned. You can pass wisdom and methods and current successful companies down but success must be maintained through individual and group effort. However, service and the gifts that you provide will have ongoing residual benefits. People will know and remember you for the outstanding service and opportunities you provide and that unmatched service is what will draw people to you and those who will lead in your absence. 20 years from now no one will be missing or looking for your gigantic house or your accolades. They will remember the things that no one can do quite like you and the level of service that you provided and they will hope that the next person to “fill your shoes”, embodies that same level of dedication, humility, and service.
On your path to creating a legacy that you can be proud of, be mindful of these legacy blockers!
Procrastination and lack of focus.
Following the dreams of others who you admire versus your own.
Bitterness, fear, and jealousy.
Unfruitful personal and professional relationships.
The same energy it takes to create a legacy should also be applied to protect your legacy. See beyond short term goals and work with you and your children’s future in mind. We all have to identify and remove the above blockers and eliminate them and any poor attitude, distraction, or behavior that would cause us to be less impactful.
If you feel behind it’s not too late! Start creating a legacy today. Decide what legacy you wish to create and what message you want to be left with your family, your community, and the world. It’s not too late but time is always limited so I want to encourage you to move with a sense of urgency and passion! What legacy will you build?
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