Focus on Legacy / by Kerri
David Kong in his Fortune.com commentary: Best Western CEO: Why you should never get promoted too quickly, stated:
“When we’re young, especially in our 20s, no one is thinking about retirement. But everyone’s career comes to an end, at some point. So it’s never too early to start focusing on your legacy. We should think about how we want to be remembered not just in our company, or our industry, but in our family and amongst our friends.”
It can take a lifetime to build a legacy or it can be galvanized overnight. The challenge is to consciously choose what you want to be remembered for. If we abdicate this opportunity, others will decide what our legacy will be or if it (meaning us) is even remembered.
If you value how you will be remembered, what do you want it to be?
There are two sides to legacy
On the qualitative side, your legacy preserves what you stand for personally and in your business:
The challenge is that most business owners are so busy operating their business that these larger parameters which have long term impact get sidelined or neglected.
On the fiscal quantitative side, your legacy will depend on a number of extremely personal decisions:
• How much money do you need for personal financial freedom?
• What lifestyle are you planning for beyond the business?
• How much money do you want to be able to pass on to family to secure their future for generations?
• What philanthropic commitments do you aspire to make in your lifetime or as bequests?
Your answers to these questions depend on many factors. In some ways the financial decisions are easier than the qualitative ones!
Starting now, take time to reflect:
• Are you having a positive and lasting impact on your team or customers?
• Do your actions inspire the people around you?
• Have you made a transformational impact on the company you built? On your industry? Or the people you care the most about?
• How do you want them to value that experience?
In building your legacy and providing security for your dynasty, it’s imperative that your plans ensure you do not outlive your money. You do not want your legacy clouded or tarnished by inadequate planning for your own lifetime.
Your business and personal legacy plans take time to define, test and execute. It does not come together overnight, or in the midst of the intense transaction process. Rather, it takes contemplation and preparation over the years leading up to that transaction and transition.
The planning for your reinvention, legacy and dynasty should be established before you let go/cash out of your business. To focus on your legacy, integrate your reinvention planning with your exit planning to achieve your ideal qualitative and quantitative outcome.
Your legacy is about your journeys, your values and the truly lasting and positive impact you make. What will yours be?