We all want to leave a legacy. And particularly while we're alive!
Stephen R. Covey says this is one of four basic human needs and motivations of all people. More from Stephen shortly.
I've been reflecting a lot on legacy lately as I enter what may turn out to be the swansong period of my business life.
Initially my reflections were focused on Zig Ziglar's famous insight
This led me to zeroing in on what my clients value the most, which in turn led me to the design of my possible swansong work which I explore here.
Being willing and able to fully appreciate and get the best out of themselves and other people tops the list for my clients.
Stephen R. Covey's book, The 8th Habit From Effectiveness to Greatness, and my favourite of his works, sheds wonderful light on this subject.
The 8th Habit is Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs. Covey defines voice as "unique personal significance" which he illustrates in Figure 1.2 in the book as pictured below.
Talent (your natural gifts and strengths)
Passion (those things that naturally energise, excite, motivate and inspire you)
Need (including what the world needs enough to pay you for)
Conscience (that still, small voice voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts you to actually do it)
I've been privileged in my own best way to help many people to find their unique personal significance (voice) over the 45 years of my working life so far.
While rereading Covey I googled voice and came across this great article 'Develop Your Voice, Not Your Brand' by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Here's some of the article:
The idea of developing your personal brand is a bad one, according to Sandberg. “People aren’t brands,” she says. “That’s what products need. They need to be packaged cleanly, neatly, concretely. People aren’t like that.”
“Who am I?” asks Sandberg. “I am the COO of Facebook, a company I deeply believe in. I’m an author. I’m a mom. I’m a widow. At some level, I’m still deeply heartbroken. I am a friend and I am a sister. I am a lot of very messy, complicated things. I don’t have a brand, but I have a voice.”
Focus on developing your voice, she says. Figuring out what’s important to you and being willing to use your voice for that purpose is incredibly valuable. “If you are doing it to develop your personal brand, it’s empty and self-serving and not about what you’re talking about,” she says. “If you’re doing it because there is something you want to see changed in the world, that’s where it will have value and depth and integrity.”
So leaving your legacy while you're alive has much to do with Stephen R. Covey's 8th Habit: Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs.
Who will you become? What will you do next?
If you'd like some help please give me a shout.