It may be how they’ve steered a nation through a period of growth. It may be how they’ve helped a business grow. It may be their philanthropic endeavours that have helped people in less developed countries.
As a result, when we hear the word “legacy” our mind immediately springs to something that is “huge” in terms of scope and timeframe of the impact.
By holding such a view, however, it’s easy to feel that leaving a legacy is out of reach to many people.
In reality, a legacy can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. This means we all have the opportunity to create a legacy – and multiple legacies – in our lifetime. How awesome is that!
This is because a legacy isn’t just something we leave behind after we die. It is something we leave behind each time we interact with people.
Our daily interactions leave an imprint on people – in either a good, or not so good way.
Here’s a few positive examples for you to ponder.
Your daily legacy can be as easy as unexpectedly helping someone, buying a person a cup of coffee, or sending a thank you note when someone has helped you. It may be supporting a colleague at work with a problem they are trying to solve.
As a leader, your longer-term legacy may be the impact you have on team members in terms of how you help develop their skills and support their career development.
Many years ago one of the great leaders I worked for said to me: “Michelle the work you do is important, but it will ultimately be forgotten. It’s not what you will be remembered for. What won’t be forgotten is how you treat people and how you develop your team. That will stay with people”.
Her comments have always stayed with me.
If you want to create your legacy start by thinking about what you want to be known for.
The next step is to consider the daily legacy creating opportunities you may have. These are the ‘in the moment’ daily habits you have to create a positive impact. It can help to ask yourself each day: What good thing am I going to do today that may make someone else’s day brighter or easier?
It may only be a small thing, but it’s often the little things that matter.
Change happens. Make it work for you.
Michelle Gibbings is a change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian. Michelle works with global leaders and teams to help them accelerate progress. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’. For more information: www.michellegibbings.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.