Have you ever thought about your legacy? Do you know what you will be leaving behind? Are you aware of your impact on others and how that might shape their lives?
Legacy is about the richness of the individual’s life, including what that person accomplished and the impact he or she had on people and places … ultimately the story of a person’s life reflects the individual’s legacy.
As we travel along this mortal coil, we might never give a thought to those things that have come to pass and been left behind. We may never reflect on our actions that created some sort of outcome in some way, however small. Good or bad. What a shame that would be, to end up believing that sum of our life will be nothing more than dust.
Like the butterfly effect, even the smallest actions can have consequences. Sometimes these consequences are big and sometimes very small.
In the context of legacy, it has been said that ‘it is not what you do or what you say that counts, but how you make people feel’. Contrast that with the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ and you could be in a head scratcher puzzle. Is it about the feelings or the actions? Or is it both? Here’s a thought - could it even be a lack of feeling and a lack of action that creates the legacy? Can you think of those who have not acted, and in so doing have shown no feelings and carried out nothing in terms of actions? Say this has had a detrimental effect, then this is their legacy, it will be what they are remembered for.
I was once told that if you go through life and make no enemies, then you stood for nothing. As I have got older I have become the person who puts up with less and stands for more. It just feels like the right thing to do. I am not condoning making enemies through not acting or feeling, that is not right either. If you are making an enemy it is because your beliefs and values are different, these in some way define you and shape your actions and in turn shape the way you leave someone remembering you. For better or worse. It will form part of your legacy.
Take the time to look back on some of the things you have done, that have had a really positive impact on someone’s life. Perhaps you were the great friend who gave their time to another when they needed you most. Maybe you managed a person so well, that you ended up being the manager for whom all other managers were compared. Perhaps you helped a person who was always told they would amount to nothing, and yet you saw a spark, you saw potential and helped them exploit it and become something they never would have if you hadn’t stepped up. I could go on, but you get the drift, this will be your legacy.
A friend of mine recently wrote a brilliant sales book, and she told me that the reason that she wrote it was because she didn’t want to die with the music still inside her. I loved that and I have adopted it. My mission is to personally help and support as many sales professionals and managers to be the best they can, to give them the tools and techniques that help shape their careers. A mentor to me told me to always leave an echo, as echoes always come back.
If thinking about your legacy is too big to fathom, then think of your actions and the way you make people feel as an echo, something that will come back, something you will be remembered for. That, will be your legacy.
About the author ... Simon Hares set up SerialTrainer7 Ltd in 2014 with a view to getting people where they need to be quicker and leaving them there better. With over 30 years experience training sales and management, the training is described as more than different, it is relevant. SerialTrainer7 Ltd offers training and development in three key areas, Management & Leadership, Sales and Business Development and Behavioural Improvement. This is delivered virtually, in a classroom, a seminar or one to one format with training being lively and engaging.