Author: Steve Deighton
Take a moment and imagine a thousand years from now, presuming humans are still around (and I’m not entirely sold on that being the case). A future archeologist is at a dig site which is your present day work space. What will they find that would be significant? Will they be able to decipher what you did? Now, let’s just go a year forward. Will you be able to know what you did that is considered significant a year from now? Two years from now? Will anyone else see what you have done as significant?
The reality is most of what we do every day does not have much impact on the future unless we are able to reshape someone else’s thinking, attitude, and abilities. Consider the opportunities you have every day to positively influence another person to be more innovative, conscientious, or thoughtful. Most of us on this planet will not personally make the history books, but we may influence or teach someone who will. So the real question is, what is holding you back? Not enough time, too many competing priorities.
My hope is when my time here is done, that someone can stand up and say that I positively influenced their life for the better for having known me. Hopefully, that person isn’t just a relative. Every day, I look for opportunities to share what I know, including mistakes I have made, so that others may benefit from not having to repeat mistakes, so that they may learn new ways of working more effectively. This is something that can continue long after I am gone.
I never really subscribed to how fast life goes by until I slowed down to reflect how fast it has passed. If you are not careful, you will miss out on all the opportunities to share your knowledge with those individuals who need it the most: the ones that are following in your footsteps. Do them the favor of not repeating the mistakes you have made. Provide them the advantage of learning and innovating beyond what you have now, and encourage them to continue to strive to be the best, no matter where this takes them. Then, a thousand years from now, they may not find anything particularly significant about your work space, but they may still be talking about the innovations that were sparked by the opportunities you created.
In the past few decades, the world has witnessed a remarkable transformation in business, innovation and technology. Here are a few tips on how to get started and make sure you have a significant impact in your space and that your legacy will live on past your time.
1. Find your purpose.
Whether you consider yourself a sales guru, a charismatic leader or an influential entrepreneur, define your purpose to yourself. Outline your mission and remind yourself daily of this. This is the first step in the achievement of any goal.
2. Evaluate what you are doing right now.
Sit down and think about what you are doing right now that is having an impact on your purpose or on achieving the goals of your organization.
3. Stay focused.
Remember that everything you do in your personal and professional life should have an impact on creating your legacy. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and understand how these may affect getting where you need to go.
4. Work with your team.
Most of the world’s “game changers” didn’t obtain their remarkable success on their own. The only way your legacy will live on is if you impact the lives of those around you. Those are the people that will share stories of your success and methods. Seek advice from your peers. Many famous entrepreneurs such as Michael Dell and Howard Schultz shared advice with each other whilst vacationing in Hawaii. Schultz reassumed his leadership role with Starbucks after this encounter. That single conversation was responsible for impacting the lives of thousands of employees, businesses and patrons.
What great business man or woman’s legacy has lived to surpass them?