Are You Living a Legacy-Driven Life?
In my work I meet people in a wide range of leadership roles. Without exception, I’m most impressed by those who seek and find ways to help others discover and deliver the very best they have to offer in the workplace.
When I think about the motivations for this type of leadership excellence, I wonder, “Is there a shared reason that inspires each, in his or her own way, to be this sort of leader?”
One such motivation I can think of goes back to a commencement speech I heard recently. As the speaker came to the podium I expected to hear the same clichéd lines about “reaching for the stars” and “If you work hard enough you can do or be anything!” But that was not the message this presenter had for us.
Rather, the essence of his message was about making a choice between living a resumé-driven life, focused only on achievement in the workplace, or living a legacy-driven life, focused on leaving the people and the world around you a better place. I was moved listening to this man speak from the heart about wonderful legacies created by the words and actions of true leaders in a variety of industries and roles. He was talking about the kind of leadership that inspires others to produce at their highest level, both professionally and personally. This message also has resonance for everyone in the interior landscaping market – from technician to designer to sales managers and owners – we each leave a legacy. Along with benefits that come from the inviting spaces created by beautiful and well-maintained plants, the interactions with the people in those spaces are just as impactful.
Now you may be thinking that a legacy is something you leave behind after you’re gone, but it’s surely much more than that. A legacy is something active, formed by you as you live your daily life. A legacy is determined by how you relate to those you work with and those you love. Everything you do leaves a legacy in the moment and collectively over time. Your legacy is sure to live on long after you’re gone. Each day has a legacy of its own and we each have control over the kind of legacy we leave, be it in a day or a lifetime.
Those in leadership have an even greater responsibility to define values, articulate mission, and live every day in ways that inspire others to be the best they can be. Great leaders help individuals to fulfill their potential so that an entire organization can thrive. Just the same, those who interact with customers also have a duty to think about how their customers will remember them and the service they provide. How does what you do leave that space a better place? At all levels in the interiorscape business and in others like it, for good or for ill, legacies are being built every day.
So what drives you?
How do your values, mission and treatment of others impact the legacy you leave each day? Do you leave the people you interact with each day a little better, more hopeful or inspired? I hope you’ll be motivated to consider the difference you can make with those you work with and serve, by living a legacy-driven life.
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