I recently read an article on the Internet (so it must be true) that advised me that I, like most other people, will never leave a legacy.
I disagree. My legacy will never be recognized with a monument, a historical marker, or a street named after me. My legacy won’t be required reading, in fact it will never show up in any book. It won’t even show up in Trivial Pursuit.
I don’t care.
The legacy I want to leave includes people who achieved more than they knew they could because I helped them realize their potential.
People who knew I would always treat them with respect.
People who understood my values, not because of any pontification, but because of my day-to-day behavior.
That’s the legacy I want to leave.
Great topic, Steve. It’s a good thing to do some introspection of our contributions and especially “consideration for others.” At the same time, I don’t think we can write our own legacy. For example, I’ve known you personally and professionally for a significant number of years, and only insofar as how you reached, touched and influenced others I’d write your legacy as the difference between mentor vs. advisor.
Advisors lead us to become more proficient in our profession and more knowledgable in different facets of our life, living, being, and doing. Mentors also have a profound impact on our life, transforming it in ways that go beyond mere management, knowledge and wisdom. In their scopes of influence, it seems there is one difference. It is centered in the heart of the advisor or mentor. They both sincerely want us to learn and grow. Mentors, though, passionately want us to outgrow them.
You are and always have been a mentor, Steve. You’re not only a person of high consideration for others, a person who inspires others to fulfill all they are capable of becoming, a person willing to share your never-ending thoughts of wisdom for growth no matter if only one person is listening–you
are mentoring. Your legacy will be: “Steve lived so others would outgrow and be better than him.”