3 Keys to Leaving a Legacy
by Cheryl Hill
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Legacies are not just measured in monetary wealth but by the sum of the total person. What will be your legacy to those who follow after you? You will be remembered for two things in life: The problems you solve or the ones you create. What provisions have you made for your influence to continue after you are gone?
Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability are three major keys to great leadership.
Men decide their habits….their habits decide their future is what I learned from my mentor Dr. Mike Murdock.
When others see (transparency) the pitfalls and victories of your life you are developing standards for others success and strategic plans for others to avoid failure. When you surround yourself with wise advisers (accountability) you get a broader view of your mission. Your wise advisors should be those who know your strengths and weaknesses and will have give constructive criticism when needed.
You are in control of legacy you will leave. This may be done through laws, policies, funding, investments and many other streams of funding and written edicts (sustainability). After serving in the government arena for over 15 years I can measure what an organization or company’s
legacy will be by the vision/mission statements and how an organization entreats their employees.
The same can be measured by a person’s personal statement of life concerning their families. No matter how hard you try to separate your personal life from your public life the sum of who you really are will show in your business, ministry or political dealings. If you are compassionate, integral and consistent at home these qualities will surface in your public life. Legacies are purposed and planned. A legacy speaks to the provisions you have made for your influence to continue after you are gone. A legacy also proposes the question of “how you would like to be remembered by those closest to you.
When I think about legacies one person that I truly look upon is Colonel Harley Sanders of
the Kentucky Fried Chicken Empire. His story is more than a rags to riches story it and example of
transparency, accountability and sustainability. In 1896 Colonel Sander’s father died. His mother was forced to enter the workforce to support the family. At the age of six he was responsible for taking care of his younger siblings and doing much of the family's cooking. His success did not come easy. Years of persistence, taste testing from friend to friend and taking risk to open a restaurant paid off.
In 1930, the then 40-year-old Sanders was operating a service station in Corbin, Kentucky, and it was there that he began cooking for hungry travelers who stopped in for gas. The customers ate from his own dining table in the station's humble living quarters. It was then that he invented what's called "home meal replacement" - selling complete meals to busy, time-strapped families. He called it, "Sunday Dinner, Seven Days a Week." As Sanders' fame grew, Governor Ruby Laffoon made him a Kentucky Colonel in 1935 in recognition of his contributions to the state's cuisine. It was in the 1930’s Colonel Sanders began to experience what we call “rapid growth”.
Today you will see a set of KFC standards which require diversity, a supplier’s code of conduct, scholar programs and an animal welfare program. These standards put in place transparency, accountability and sustainability. The mission statement of KFC’s Social Responsibility Division reads “There's more to KFC than great food. We promote education, diversity and animal welfare in a number of positive ways.” This is a legacy of a man of humble beginnings who never forgot his struggle and continues to have a hand in changing the quality of life for people even from
What will your standards and legacy be?
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