Front and Center

We believe in “Developing the Whole Person.” We believe that each of us is the same person both inside and outside of work, and therefore we can’t fully develop ourselves as leaders without taking the entirety of life into consideration.

Over the past few weeks we’ve shared with you the story of Jason, a leader who decided his life legacy was “To positively impact the lives of others through giving and growing.” As a result, his team experienced The Leaders Lyceum, which not only impacted their professional lives, but their personal lives as well.

During the experience, Darby, a member of Jason’s team, asked herself the question, “What do I want people to say about me when I’m gone?” She decided the most important legacy she could leave was through her children. Her legacy statement became, “To focus on family enrichment while showing an appreciation of my blessings by giving back.” Previously, Darby and her husband had made choices in line with this, from vacation destinations to choosing schools for their children, but they had never really connected why they were doing these things. That was about to change.

A few months ago, Darby and her husband started dreaming about life in a bigger house with a bigger lot. They would be able to host holiday dinners, have a pool for the children to enjoy, and plant a garden to grow their own food—all things you could argue would serve to enrich their family. They started looking and found several promising properties.

One day, as Darby was emailing her husband about an option they had found, she glanced over at her legacy statement that sits next to her computer. She began asking herself “How will this house give to my kids? Yes, a pool would be nice, but if our house payment grows, we won’t be able to take the kinds of vacations we want, and if anything happens to one of our jobs!” In that moment, Darby realized that as nice as a bigger house would be, it was not truly aligned with her legacy statement. They called off the search and decided that staying put was the best thing for their family.

Darby realized that it’s too easy to take the unintended path, to be distracted by a ‘bright, shiny object’ (like that new house). She acknowledged, “If I hadn’t taken time to think about what I really wanted, we probably would have moved in and unknowingly allowed our priorities to shift.” Keeping her legacy statement front-and-center helped her navigate through this life decision and choose the path on which she desires to stay.

Darby is a great example of what it means to lead within her family. She is intentional about her priorities based in the legacy she wants to leave. When faced with a decision, she asks herself two questions; “Does this align with my legacy? If not, then why am I doing it?”

Are you putting energy toward developing your leadership outside of work? Is your legacy front and center for you?