What are you leaving behind?

For a few weeks now, I have been talking about the end of 2021 and the contemplative mood we often find ourselves in because of it.

With a new year so close, no doubt many of us have been buying up yoga mats and protein shake tumblers, and others filling our shelves with how-to books. We are already putting in place the tools that we use to make 2022 count for something great.

And some of us do that by instead choosing a word for the year. This word sums up everything that we want the year to focus on – where we want all of our efforts, actions, and thoughts moving toward.

I love this annual tradition. I find it not just helpful, but crucial, to look at what I have ahead of me and ask myself, “What do I want to build using this?” and make all of my decisions through that lens.

I find it especially helpful when considering what I leave behind.

In Romania, we often honor those who have passed away by hosting alms lunches in their memory. We do this for up to nine years after they are gone.

During that somber but special meal, we recognize the impact that someone has had on us. We vocalize what they have passed onto us and who we have become as a result of having known them. And often, we share memories and summarize the loved one’s life in just a few words.

What will your people say about you when you leave your position?

Of course, leaving your role in your business is not as major as a death. This metaphor may seem a little morbid.

But still, we exist in a place long after we have left it. What will your team, your colleagues, and others in your business say about you when you are no longer there? And what will they do because you affected them?

Work ethics, honesty, influence, persistence – I write on these things every week; I read on them every day. I do not just exercise them personally, but I built my business discussing and developing them with other entrepreneurs who are just as passionate about these qualities as I am.

These things touch every aspect of my life, and I have my grandparents to thank for instilling them in me, my siblings, and my cousins.

Now, they are not still physically here with me, but because they have impacted me this way, they have been given permanence.

As Idowu Koyenikan once said,

“Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.”

The effects we have on our people will be felt long after we have left. When they talk about you, what would they say if you left today?

Of course, it is one thing to think of what we would like them to say. But what would they say?

Based on how you lead them,

how you relate to them,

how you listen,

how you prioritize,

how you communicate?

Would they call themselves better? Would they see themselves farther along? Would they say that they have grown, they have learned, they have improved?

If you are not sure – or worse yet, you don’t like what you think they would say – decide what kind of mark you want to leave, and use 2022 to start building that legacy.

Not sure what you want them to say? Not sure how to get started? Let’s shape your legacy together. Click here to book a 2-hour Purpose, Vision, Goals call with me, where we’ll lay the foundation for your legacy of impact.

That’s all for now.

Until next time, make 2022 your best year yet!


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