THE LAW OF LEGACY
LEGACY: What a Virtuous Leader leaves behind through the Effective performance of his Mission during his life.
I believe that every person leaves some kind of legacy. For some it’s positive. For others it’s negative. But here’s what I know: we have a choice about what legacy we will leave, and we must work and be intentional to leave the legacy we want.
Know the legacy you want to leave. Most people simply accept their lives—they don’t lead them. I believe that people need to be proactive about how they live, and I believe that is especially true for leaders. Someday people will summarize your life in a single sentence. My advice: pick it now!
Live the legacy you want to leave. I believe that to have any credibility as a leader, you must live what you say you believe. If you want to create a legacy, you need to live it first. You must become what you desire to see in others.
Choose who will carry on your legacy. I don’t know what you want to accomplish in life, but I can tell you this: a legacy lives on in people, not things.
Too often leaders put their energy into organizations, buildings, systems, or other lifeless objects. But only people live on after we are gone. Everything else is temporary.
Make sure you pass the baton. Just about anybody can make an organization look good for a moment, but the best leaders lead today with tomorrow in mind. They make sure they invest in leaders who will carry their legacy forward. Why? Because a leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Leaders Leading Leaders
VIRTUOUS LEADER: An Effective Leader who also possesses the Leadership Virtues. (Q3.2).
Why did Saul fail as Israel’s king, while David succeeded?
The answer can be found in the Law of the Lid. Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. And to reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise the lid on your leadership ability. David had many lids on his life, but they did not stop him:
1. His family
2. His leader
3. His background
4. His youthfulness and inexperience
Ultimately David became a great leader—yet not because he lacked limitations in life. He achieved much because he became a lid lifter.
Every leader has lids on his life; nobody is born without them. And they don’t disappear when a person receives a title, achieves a position, or gets invested with power. The issue is not whether you have lids, but what you are going to do about them.