Leaving a Legacy


It would be great if we had more legacies to speak of on a regular basis, wouldn’t it?  As would be expected, the rarer something is, the more valuable it is. In January of 2013, baseball (and sports) fans saw the passing of two legendary figures

 – Earl Weaver, and Stan Musial. I was saddened to first hear about Earl Weaver, but as the news broke about Stan Musial, I couldn’t help but recognize the contrast in Musial’s legacy.

Mark Townsend put together a nice piece on his Big League Stew (@bigleaguestew) regarding the impact of Musial.  What’s extremely touching to see is the video highlighting family members and others who were impacted by his life.  Musial wasn’t just an iconic player, he was an iconic person. He held himself to high expectations, and demonstrated that on and off the field both during and after his playing career; meaning he wasn’t just a Hall of Fame Baseball player, he was a Hall of Fame human.

Musial left a legacy of giving, kindness and dedication to his profession and everything around it.  Employees who demonstrate similar behavior in their daily roles are typically the beloved employees who can be counted on, no matter what. They never miss time, they pick up the slack for those that can’t (or won’t), and don’t ask for things in return.  They do it because of they are intrinsically motivated to do so.  When they move on (retire, find another job, etc.), there’s a deep hole created in the workplace.  That’s the result of the legacy they’ve built.

How do you become a “legacy” employee?  Here’s a few quick tips:

  1. Do all you can do because it’s good for the organization or the team. Don’t find another reason – plain and simple.
  2. When you ask for help, always return the favor (whether they want it or not). Nothing speaks louder to fellow employees than someone willing to scratch someone else’s back, even if it’s not asked for.
  3. Lead by example. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.
  4. Love what you do, and how you do it. This type of positive energy (not the hokey kind), is contagious. Whether you’re a supervisor, lead, or role player, people will want to work around you, work alongside your work ethic, and contribute the way you do.
  5. Do the things you do even when no one is looking = Integrity.

This isn’t to say that someday you’ll be inducted into the workplace hall of fame, but you’ll know and feel like you’re a hall of fame player. Your customers (internal or external) will feel the same.  Being a legacy or leaving a legacy isn’t about you per se, but more about the actions you demonstrate and the type of positive impact you’ve had on others both at work and home.

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