Our legacies are already in the making. I think of a person’s legacy as starting with who we are and ending with what we leave behind. Imagine if we thought beyond key endings such as retirement and death. Instead, we could intend what we leave behind in each conversation, relationship, and result.
It’s not too early
I never thought about my legacy when I was growing up or even during my early career. My parents didn’t talk about it. And at work, my focus was on learning and moving ahead.
This weekend, I found myself in a conversation with my son about rap music. We debated the reality and impact of the words and messages being delivered by some of the biggest names like Eminem, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dog. It was clear to me that he hadn’t thought about any impact on fans or even whether there were messages. He just loves the beat and rhyme. Yet as we moved through the conversation, I introduced the idea that singers have not only an opportunity but also a responsibility in their messages. Given that my son aspires to become a known lyricist and R&B singer, this was an important dialogue.
Later in the day, he pointed out to me rappers on the radio who had a “good” message. And since he’s fifteen and resistant to parental advice, I just slid into that conversation with a thoughtful point of “that’s what I hope for your music.”
A huge part of my legacy is the kind of man I leave behind in my son.
It’s never too late
Recently, I have actually been on a brisk journey to advance my vision for my own legacy. Over thirty years of work-life, I already know that I make a difference to my clients, colleagues, family, and friends. Until recently, that seemed to be plenty to leave behind.
I was too young for the early women’s movement on which my opportunities have rested.Yet, now I see a new opportunity to bridge the legacy of those pioneers with the future of much younger women leaders and our girls. I’ll spare you the story and cut to the emerging vision.
My contribution is to inspire and connect women and to invest in our girls through a new initiative called Women2Women2Girls. With this post, I am opening the door. Where it leads is yet to be determined. I’ll share more on that in future posts.
An Inspiration from A Bronx Tale
If you haven’t seen the movie A Bronx Tale, it’s a great one. The quote that has stuck with me is Calogero’s reflection of his lessons learned from the gangster Sonny.
“I learned to give love and get love unconditionally. You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all. ‘The saddest think in life is a wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.’ ”
What have you already left in your path? What are the possibilities for your future?