Beyond you! (The Law of Legacy)

“A LEADER’s lasting value is measured by succession” – John Maxwell

One morning, in 1888, Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who made a fortune from his invention of dynamite, awoke to find his own obituary printed in the newspaper.  The newspaper story, which was supposed to be about Alfred’s brother Ludwig, had been a mistake, of course.  But after reading it, Nobel realized that he didn’t want to be known for giving society the ability to blow things up.  Instead, he wanted to leave a legacy that promoted peace, culture and science.

So, he set aside the majority of his multi-million dollar fortune to fund annual prizes for exceptional achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and world peace.  Today, more than a hundred years after his death, few people realize that Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite, yet almost everyone has heard of the Nobel Prize.

We often get so caught up in the day-to-day and urgent details of life and in all our getting and doing, we need to regularly step back and look at the big picture. It can often make a significant difference. You don’t have to be an inventor, a pastor, a doctor, the commander of a military installation or the President of the United States.  We will all leave a legacy

At this very moment, you are creating your future and also a legacy. Knowing that demands a certain kind of determined focus.  Every single day, you are living out the legacy of your past and you are simultaneously creating the reality of your future.  Because those two dynamics are experienced together in the moment known as the present, they seem unavoidably connected.  Be advised, they are not.

That future is, for the most part, open ended.  Sure, a few limitations have already been placed on it but those limitations pale in comparison to the unimaginably vast possibilities still open to you.  The future is relentlessly arriving and it will continue to do so, no matter what actions you take to avoid it.  The best strategy for making that oncoming future the best it can possibly be is to become relentless at shaping it in a positive way.

Your past does not equal your future, unless you choose in the present to make it so.  There is really very little intrinsic connection between the past, which cannot be changed, and the future, which is open ended.  The present moment in which you live is your grand opportunity to reinforce the appropriate, desired positive connections, and to sever the negative ones between your past and your future. Within that purview is every possibility imaginable — good, bad, indifferent, destructive, positive and creative.

Every achievement, every success, every heartache springs forth from the actions taken in those present moments which connect the past to the future.  The important part of this powerful equation is right now.  What has happened in the past does not matter nearly so much as what you do with it now.  The universe of possibility that is the future does not matter nearly so much as do those specific possibilities you bring to fruition by your choice of action right now.

The future is yours to create. It can be as dependent on, or as independent from, your past as you wish it to be.  That’s not a license to abandon your responsibilities, but rather to radically fulfill them.  A key decision in every moment is this; which part of you will you carry forward into the future, what part will you leave behind, and what new part will you create?  Each day you have the opportunity to improve the mixture, to learn from experience, to benefit from the past, to be inspired by others, to set your sights on a new and compelling pursuit, to fulfill the promise of your previous efforts.

It can be an astounding journey.  The choice is completely up to you.  Your possibilities in the future can draw from every good thing you’ve ever done, and from the experience and resources you’ve already accumulated.   Yet those possibilities do not need be hampered by the failures or shortcomings you’ve known.  Your future is just as bright as is the future of anyone you can imagine, when you choose to make it so with your actions in the present.

H5H Action Step:

Answer the following questions:

  • What do you want your legacy to be at High 5 Hospitality?
  • Based on the way you answered the first question, what must you change in the way you conduct yourself so that you can live out that legacy? ( Your list may include behavioral changes, character development, education, working methods, relationship building style, guest interaction and so on)
  • In whom will you invest to carry on your legacy?

Over the past twenty one weeks we have focused on the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  Learn them, apply them and take them to heart.  If you follow them, people will follow you.  “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.”

Lead The Way!