Living and leaving a great legacy when we exit the stage


Legacy is not just what we leave; it is about how we live every day.

Photo credit: File

People who own and operate businesses affect many lives both positively and negatively. They affect the lives of their workers, customers, business partners, suppliers, shareholders and many others.

These lives are influenced by decisions they make, and actions they take, as well as those they do not. If you are a business owner or company leader, it is important to appreciate that your circle of influence goes wide.

When we die many will remember us for who we were and for what we did and did not do. They will think of us for the lives we touched and those that may have gone into disarray because of our actions and inactions. The question of legacy comes to mind.

Our legacy is broad. We leave one when we exit an organisation. We also leave a legacy when we depart this world. For those in business, that legacy is not only felt by our family members, our circle of friends, our community but also by the many that we interact with in the line of business.

Everyone in business interacts with so many other people. Many tell stories of the lives of business leaders and business owners across the globe. Some stories are great, others are bad, while some are pretty ugly.

As we live our lives today, we must remember those that will tell our stories. Our staff, their families, our customers, our suppliers and our business partners will tell a tale. Not many people are clear about the legacy they would like to leave. If you were a chief executive, a senior manager, or even the business owner, what legacy would you like to leave? When we exit the organisations we own or lead, what will be or mark? When we are gone from this world, what will our legacy be?

Negative influence

The issue of legacy is deep, complex and confusing. Our legacy transcends decades of our lives. Legacy is not just what we leave; it is about how we live every day! Each passing day, we are influencing the lives of others. Are we a positive or a negative influence? The choice is often ours. Have we thought about the legacy that we are living? I believe this calls for living intentionally.

To create a meaningful legacy, we must start by living our legacy now. That means being clear about what we stand for and the mark we want to leave. By living our legacy at the earliest possible, we can influence the legacy we leave when we are gone. It seems extremely difficult to erase any dark memories from our past.

Each person has a legacy. We write it every day as we interact with others. In the world of business, leaders and owners of all types and sizes of business need to be intentional about their legacy. Legacy goes beyond what we do for ourselves.

Those in business need to focus more on those they lead and influence. Their legacy will be engraved in their memories. It is how we influence the tea girl, the guard, the driver, house help, gardener, junior staff, and just about everyone else. Our legacy, good or bad, will outlive us!

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