It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog after receiving news of a friends passing into a better place and I feel the need to be creative so the topic I want to talk with you about is legacy. I don’t think we naturally think of our legacy all that often. So we’re all on the same page and before I get into it, legacy by a simple definition is ‘something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past’ (sourced; http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legacy).
I’ve personally done a bit of work on this topic over the recent years which involves thinking about what I’d want people to think, feel and say about me at a farewell gathering or celebratory evening of my life or if you can work through it, at your own personal funeral. Thinking about your own funeral is a bit of a challenge so I work more from the perspective of an awards evening – I know this is a bit confronting, particularly in western society but you’ll see how it comes together soon so stick with me. If you can work through it and I’d recommend you give it a go, it’s a powerful exercise as it brings to attention your core values that you want to live by and you might find your purpose or some of your goals show up in this exercise. There are a number of other benefits but what I’d truly like for you to get out this exercise is really getting a sense of what type of legacy you want to leave behind you.
Upon completing the exercise you can start to think about the life your currently living and do your current words or language, attitude and behavior reflect what you’ve learnt about yourself in the above exercise or can you identify areas in your life that you can improve on? Work is typically a large portion of our life so this exercise is just as applicable in the workplace. If you were to do this exercise on a smaller scale – which is essentially where I started – without actually knowing what I was doing. In its simplest form I wanted to make it easy to train the next person who would fill my role and make it so much easier for them to learn it. It’s interesting to talk with people and find out that many people, regardless of their role, lack a decent introduction and training in the role and required tasks. Follow me on my journey with THE ART OF ADMIN and you’ll see all the different ways I was able to simplify tasks and function at a high level yet with easy and grace handover to someone new. My legacy is so much bigger now – I want to share everything I know with you to make your job easier and more satisfying and enjoyable!
How often have you started in a role with little to no training? I had many opportunities to make it so much easier for the next person so they didn’t have to face the challenges that I had to go through to ‘do’ the required tasks and learn as I went. I essentially wanted to leave a legacy to be proud of and useful for the next person. Part of that process was always thinking about how I can make existing tasks easier, more efficient, effective and value adding. One of the most amazing, easily unidentified aspects of the whole process is that I gave myself my own personal challenge and it was there almost every single day. It helped to prevent getting stale in the role. If you’ve been in admin or any job for that matter for a while – I’m sure you know what I mean!
Working with this view to my tasks put me on a journey to develop very functional and supportive roles for the departments and businesses in which the roles I filled existed. I think this view has been one of the key foundations to being successful in all my admin roles with great working relationships between colleagues.
In memory and inspiration from my friend I’ve put together a document to help you identify your own legacy. Download it here and give it a go when you’re feeling fresh and energized.
Good luck! I’d love to hear what people get out this process. Sharing is such a wonderful gift to yourself and others.
One final piece to say regarding legacy – whatever you do, however, you do it – be AUTHENTIC…and HUSTLE – as Gary Vee says. Till next time enjoy, take care of yourself and feel free to comment.