One can only hope that the “coverage” of your life can be as positive as what we have seen of those in the recent helicopter tragedy, taking the life of a legendary basketball player, his daughter and their friends, teammates and loved one’s of so many others. At times like this it is not about being a basketball fan or liking the people. When human lives are lost there is heartache, and as humans we need to be able to share the stories we have as a way of connection. Gosh, it’s like you know these people because you have watched them develop in the spotlight or have seen all the coverage. Incidents like this, whether you know the people are not cause reflection for many. These tragedies shake us, especially when we think it only happens to other people, or we are untouchable being in the spotlight. The sad reality is, no one is untouchable.
Whenever there is tragedy, whether an icon or a local, people immediately begin sharing what they know about the person…the person’s life…their legacy. I am guilty of this too, even if it is only what I have heard from other people because I may not have any connection to them. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does make you think. What would people say about me if I were gone?
As a leader, I like to think greatness is earned, not just given. How are the things we are doing in our lives now going to live on with our memory, or will they? Will they say what I hope they would say about me? What is it I want that to even be? The time is now to form and evolve into the version of you that you want to be remembered for. What are the values you say motivate your actions? Do people know these are your values because of your actions?
Recognizing the impact of a leader is about how they made us feel, the ways they inspired us, and the things that connected us to them, no matter how small. We consider most how they led in their life. What will people recognize about you? How do they connect with you? What is your legacy?
Consider the one sentence or a 280-character tweet that would describe the entirety of your work and life. Are you living your life on purpose or simply letting things happen to you and react? We all have passions, challenges, values, and talents.
Now is the time to evaluate who you are and who you want to be. Do they align? If so, fantastic, keep going! If they do not, then it is time to figure out the steps you are willing to take for your legacy to be as you envision it.