I was at a networking event this week and while it was great to reconnect with some people I haven’t seen in a while – as well as meet new people – the morning was filled with tributes to a community leader we lost yesterday. Annie Winterbottom was the President of the Seminole Main Street Chamber and earned a reputation like no other. She was known for her generosity and her service to others. She built the Chamber to over 1200 members in a short period of time, by most standards. I first met Annie five years ago when she was the president of the East Orlando Chamber; I was just new in my business but Annie was very welcoming and supportive, with a ‘go get’em’ attitude.
It made me think of how I would want my legacy to be in hearing so many wonderful thoughts and memories of a remarkable woman. Annie was known for service to others so that is what I want to be known for, and for uplifting others to succeed. How do you want to be known when you’re gone, whether that from your organization, inner circle or in life. We all leave our mark on someone, whether we realize it or not.
It means we have to pay more attention to how we are viewed by others and how we are impacting them. Every action we do – how we look, how we walk and carry outselves – speak loudly to others. Are we working to make a difference, or be of service, to others or are we just doing what’s necessary? If you are working, will your organization miss you, feel you have been of value and talk about your accomplishments if you were to leave? Would your friends and family have good memories or not?
One exercise to help answer this queston is to write your life backwards, from old age through birth; it can be very telling to see how you view yourself, what accomplishments you’ve had and can help you to identify the gaps of where you are to where you want to be.
Make the commitment now to create and to live your best life and leave your mark on the world. So – what will your legacy be?