What Are You Building at Work? Legacy or History?
Legacies and histories are both important, but they are not the same thing. The legacy you leave at work is what defines your career, while your work history is simply a record of where you have been. As a leader in the workplace, it's important to ask yourself: what am I building—a legacy or a history?
What's the Difference Between Legacy and History?
Legacy is something that will stay with an organization after you've gone. It's the impact you have on the people around you and the ideas that remain long after you leave. A legacy is about making a lasting impression on your team, your organization, and even future generations. It's about leaving behind something meaningful and inspiring others to do more than they thought possible.
The Meaning of Legacy
Legacy is an intangible concept that has everything to do with the reputation one leaves behind. It's all about making an impact on future generations and leaving something lasting behind. Building a legacy requires intentionality and consistency in living out values long-term. It means actively working for the greater good of society by creating progress, innovating, and inspiring others to do the same. Ultimately, this type of work helps build a name for oneself and what one stands for in life.
Why You Should Strive to Build a Legacy Instead of Simply Creating History
History, on the other hand, is simply documenting what has already been done. It's looking back at past accomplishments and how those experiences have shaped who we are today. It's about learning from our mistakes and understanding how our decisions impacted our current situation. While history is important for reflection and improvement, it does not have a lasting impact like a legacy.
Writing history is more immediate than building a legacy, as it occurs while one is still alive. It involves making decisions with positive implications while being aware of your actions being documented in real time by others. This type of work might have more short-term benefits, such as increasing sales or gaining recognition, but it won't necessarily live past the individual's lifetime like a legacy would. Still, writing history is important because it offers proof that significant changes were made during one's lifetime, which can be looked back on for inspiration later on.
Creating history is not enough—you need to be focused on creating something more meaningful than just documentation of what was done before. There are many reasons why focusing on building a legacy rather than just creating history makes sense for leaders in the workplace:
• Building a legacy allows you to set an example for others to follow; by thinking about your work in terms of "what am I leaving behind?" instead of "what did I do today?" you will be more likely to think big-picture and create something that stands out from the rest.
• Focusing on creating a legacy helps you build relationships with colleagues; when everyone is working together towards one common goal, it creates unity which can help foster better communication between team members as well as mutual respect for each other's contributions.
• Lastly, striving to build a legacy encourages growth both professionally and personally; it allows individuals to develop their own unique skill sets while still having access to resources provided by their peers or superiors, which can lead to greater success in all aspects of life.
Creating history is essential for reflection but striving for more—building a meaningful legacy—is key for any successful leader in the workplace today. By keeping this goal top-of-mind when approaching tasks or projects, corporate leaders can ensure that their efforts will be remembered long into the future instead of simply fading away into nothingness once they move on to their next venture.
So ask yourself again—what are you building at work - Legacy or History?
The choice is yours!