Hidden behind a giant boulder at the top of Ring Mountain are a series of petroglyphs.These ancient rock carvings are a reminder of the legacy of the native people who lived on this mountain. Carved in the stone is a story. Standing in front of this boulder reminds us to ask… What will be my story and legacy?
For many people their roles and responsibilities unfold over time at home and work. Yet, how strategic are we crafting a legacy that makes a difference for people, communities, and the planet today? Legacy is not just for people at the end of their career or long term visions. It is a journey that unfolds over the arc of a career and lifetime. Can we more intentionally set goals that will be impactful and helpful to society today?
We often talk about legacy building in organizations.”A leader’s legacy is a byproduct of the historical decisions one makes driven by his or her personal values. In other words, a solid legacy plants the seeds from which consistency and expectations sprout… Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, bestowed upon his employees one question to always keep in mind when making decisions: Will what I’m doing right now result in a win for the company?” This is just one lens on legacy. I invite us to go deeper and think about how we share our stories through our values. What does a win look like for you work? community? home?
Some questions for you to ponder to look beyond the traditional view of legacy:
- What words do I want people to use to describe me? What do I do each day to ensure that I am engaging with people in an authentic way?
- What are the values that matter most to me? How do I let people know about my values?
- What am I doing right now that will result in more resiliency in my work? home and community?
- What can I do today to show that I am deeply listening to friends, family, and colleagues?
- What is one step I took today to help build an inclusive culture of compassion and understanding in my community?
- What is most important to me? How do I tell that story to others and invite them to be a part of that journey with me?
Petroglyphs are a reminder to think about our stories and legacy. I invite you to explore legacy as a lens of the here and now, rather than way into the future. The world needs your gifts, today.