In this 21 part series, based on John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I’m taking you on a journey towards better leadership. I share with you my own leadership lessons and insights. As a John Maxwell Team Member I’ll be happy to deliver transformational leadership training for your team or organization. See the details below.
Part 21 of 21: The Law of Legacy
The Law of Legacy: A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. ~ John C. Maxwell
Our life on this earth is limited and what we do with it matters. One of the most important questions a leader needs to ask himself is ‘What do I want people to say at my funeral?’. How do you want people to remember you? What difference do you want to make?
Especially in this time, when people leave us way too soon, the word legacy matters.
Recently I attended the funeral of a young man. He died young – at the age of 28. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew his mom and sister who are volunteers on my team. Before attending his funeral I decided to Google him to find out who he was. To my surprise, I discovered that he was a great leader with tremendous impact in his community. Through his life he influenced people in his church, University, even people in the city he lived in. In spite of dying young, he impacted more lives than many who live into their 70’s do.
This young man understood the first two principles of the law of legacy…
1. Know the legacy you want to leave
Most people simply except their lives. They don’t lead them. We need to be intentional and proactive about our lives in order to create powerful results. What is your passion, purpose, what do you want to be known for? What matters to you? One day someone will summarize your life in one sentence. Pick yours now!One day someone will summarize your life in one sentence. Pick yours now! Click To Tweet
2. Live the legacy you want to leave
One thing is to know what you want to leave behind, another thing is to actually live it. We discussed this principle in the Law of Solid Ground and the Law of the Picture. If you want to create and leave a legacy, you must live it first. You can’t make impact just by talking about it. Everything worthy takes effort and commitment. It doesn’t just happen. You make it happen! Stop wasting your life, waiting for the right person to show up, right opportunity to come to you or the right moment to happen. Decide to make things happen instead! Be a person who makes things happen. Be the one who goes the way to show the way.Be a leader who goes the way to show the way. Click To Tweet
3. Choose who will carry on your legacy
One of my top life changing moments was when I realized that I am replaceable. It’s not about me. I’m here for a reason and a season, making the way for others to come after me. Best leaders understand that they are replaceable. They proactively search out individuals who will come in once they’re gone. They extend the invitation to such individuals, train and mentor them, create experiences for them and as they transition out, at the same time they transition the new person in. This is what I strive to do in every area of my life.
When I left my nonprofit organization back in 2006 to move to Canada, I had a team of 4 full-staff employees who knew exactly what to do, why and how; and the Board of Directors that understood how to support the team. Transition wasn’t perfect, I would do couple things differently today, but the results prove that I did the right thing. Almost than 10 years after I stood down as a director, ‘my’ nonprofit organization is still up and running. And it’s running strong, servicing hundreds of families in the area.
Legacy of leaders who fail to invest in individuals who will carry it on dies with such leaders. If you are passionate about something, I challenge you to find someone who will continue once you get tired or called to something else. Best time to do so is while you’re still in.
4. Make sure you pass the baton
Sadly, most of the people out there are so worried about their positions, achievements and seeing the glory of their accomplishments to fade, that they fail to pass the baton to others. Our ability as leaders will not be measured by the buildings we built, institutions we established, but by how well the people we invested in carried on after we are gone. A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.A leader's lasting value is measured by succession. Click To Tweet
Before I close today, I’d like to show you what happens when you fail to pass the baton to those who come after you.
Are you going to drop the baton or miss to hand it over so that the generation coming after you will get disqualified? Are you going to cause your team to fail? Or are you going to set your team, your business, your organization for success? It takes a strong leader to know when you need to hold on to baton and when to hand it over. It also takes a strong recipient to receive and carry the baton. But that’s a topic for yet another conversation.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. If you are ready to improve as a leader, I’d be honored to help you on this journey and take your leadership to the whole new level.
If you’re an individual, you will want to join my Impact Academy, where I work with individuals from around the globe helping them to improve their leadership and results.
If you’re part of a team and want to step on this journey alongside of your team, contact me here to let me know about your team’s needs. I’ll be happy to offer a customized training based on your team’s needs.
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>>> Beginning of Leadership Series: LAW #1: The Law of the Lid <<<
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