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Hear from EO member Kevin Bonfield on what determines an organization leader’s legacy.

Organization Leaders and Legacy

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Your legacy is how you’ll be remembered. But what exactly will your legacy be? Can you control what it will be? For organizational leaders like myself, it’s worth exploring.

For many, especially those in the tech world, “legacy” typically suggests something from the past. For me, legacy translates to the future – shaping the future.

I believe the essence of a legacy, especially for organization leaders, is the impact we leave on others. Every leader has the power to craft a legacy, consciously or unconsciously, through their daily actions. Still, despite our best intentions, we never have absolute control over how our legacies will be perceived. Rather, our legacies reside in the perceptions of those around us and in the values we instill within our organizations. 

To understand how to shape a lasting legacy, I propose the equation L=PHxP.

Legacy Defined (L):

This represents the legacy you aspire to leave. Whether intentional or unintentional, a legacy is a reflection of one’s values and actions.

Legacy Potential (P):

This factor embodies the inherent traits and talents of business leaders. It encompasses qualities that can catalyze entrepreneurial endeavors, foster architectural excellence, or inspire others. However, a meaningful legacy must align with an individual’s passions.

Legacy Lived (H):

The legacy lived is a culmination of daily habits and actions that translate potential into reality. Organization leaders must actively nurture the values they wish to impart, ensuring that their actions align with their desired legacy. Merely possessing potential is insufficient without consistent effort.

Legacy Perceived (P):

Despite our best efforts, how others perceive our legacies is beyond our control. Perception varies widely among individuals and communities, influenced by our local and cultural associations.

You Leave What You Live

All organization leaders are tasked with the ongoing process of defining and refining their legacies. With each day, be mindful of your actions and values-driven leadership. Be guided by the wise words of Alkali Insurance’s founder, Steven Neuner, “Remember, you leave what you live.”

Learn how to craft an enduring legacy alongside other business leaders.

Kevin Bonfield, Founder and Managing Partner at Concentre, is an EO Dallas member.

This article was adapted from the original article, published in 2018 at:

Allie Frank

Author Allie Frank

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