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Live Your Best Life With An Eye Toward The Future


“If you’ll pursue being a person of value, you’ll become a person of significance; it’s all about the kind of legacy you choose to leave.”

People of significance always leave this world a timeless, inspiring legacy. Significance is intergenerational; it is what our protégés impart to those they’re mentoring. Legacy is even more valuable. In the Law of Legacy, John Maxwell says, “A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.” 

While many people live with an eye toward retiring comfortably, leaders pursuing significance live with an eye toward influencing legacy-minded protégés who possess an intergenerational vision.

Good Character is Still King

When it comes to character development, we’re talking about leadership, and that means influence. Our greatest legacy will be leaving others better off than when we met them. Think of it: Your influence on people today can have a positive impact on generations you’ll never see! That makes your life significant. Significance is not an Accident; however, an unintended legacy can happen due to a deficiency in character and intentionality.

Our Character Defines Us

Character is who we are, and it defines us. Internal values such as honesty, loyalty, self-discipline, and perseverance influence how and what we think and feel. Our internal values drive our behavior.

We all know that personal growth and development take time. Those who know us experience our character (good or bad), and we become known for who we really are. From our character comes our legacy.  

It’s About Legacy

Regardless of who we are, we will all leave a legacy; what that will be is completely under our control. In my opinion, significance rates higher than success since living successfully has to do with accomplishments, which in turn may give you influence with others. Significance, however, influences generations we’ll never see, and it is that kind of legacy by which we will be judged successful.

What Are You Planning to Leave Behind?

In the Law of Legacy, Maxwell includes three questions I’ve abbreviated here,

  1. What do you want your legacy to be? If you are early in your leadership journey, I wouldn’t expect you to have the definitive answer to that question yet.

  2. Based on your ideas about legacy, what must you change in the way you conduct yourself today so that you live that legacy? Write a list.

  3. In whom will you invest to carry on your legacy? Ideally, you should pick people with greater potential than your own who will be able to “stand on your shoulders” and do more than you did. (1)


In Closing, John Maxwell says, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness. Success is when I add value to myself, but significance is when I add value to others… My life sentence is I want to add value to leaders who will multiply value to others.”


End Notes

(1) The Law of Legacy (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C.        




*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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