4Creating Your Leadership Legacy

The word “legacy” can be heavy. With just one six-letter word, you could be forced to reflect on your entire life: what it has been thus far, what you're currently doing, and what you want the rest to be. And, depending on where you are in life right now, evaluating and reflecting on that can be unnerving. Our lives are filled with twists, turns, adjustments, unexpected situations, and surprises. So any perfectly laid plan has the potential of not going to plan at all.

When you think about legacy, you may be discouraged and decide not to think about it at all. But I encourage you to think about it fully, to embrace it, and even to welcome unexpected situations, which we explored in detail in previous chapters.

Your legacy is bigger than the past, the present, or the rest of your life. It's actually inclusive of the impact that you have the ability to make well beyond when your physical time here on earth is complete. You have a unique opportunity to dream, to plan, and to bring to life what you want your legacy to be—your leadership legacy.

Before we dive into this chapter, I want you to give yourself permission to take off the weight and overwhelming feeling that the word “legacy” can invoke. When reading this word or hearing it spoken, resist the urge to get worked up with negative self-talk. Don't succumb to what legacy may mean to someone else or even to society at large. I want this to be fully about you because, well, it is.

A legacy is ...

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