By definition legacy is “a gift, something handed down from a predecessor.” Our life and what we do here during our time on earth is our legacy. That legacy is the body of life and work that we pass on that ultimately perpetuates us and leaves our imprint behind.
Oprah shared her legacy from the 25 years of her television show. During her last one May 25, 2011, she talked about:
- finding her calling
- her platform
- her power to change her reality
- listening to the whispers
- positive energy
- daily gratitude
It got me thinking that each one of us has a legacy that we are responsible for. It is what we want to be known for and remembered by. It is a universal human need we all have! We all need and want . . .
- to be seen
- to be heard
- to be valued
Oprah earned that validation over time and that’s why we validate her. Each one of us, no matter our position or status, has to earn validation.
In his recent book Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki talks about the three pillars of enchanting brands: likability, trustworthiness and quality. He cites the likability of Virgin or Richard Branson, the trustworthiness of Zappos and the quality product that’s Apple.
Three things have been foundational and the cornerstone of building my legacy:
1) Being laser clear on my purpose as a person: educator, motivator and catalyst. I love to learn, help others learn and connect people and things.
2) Being consistent, authentic and open in communicating that purpose to others with a sense of curiosity, adventure, energy, positivity and enthusiasm.
3) Building trustworthiness, quality and value to others because I care deeply about them and I want them to know that.
My friend Tory Johnson, who has done an amazing job building her legacy and brand over the past 12 years, graciously gave me some praise which is on the front cover of my new book: “Deborah Shane cares deeply. Get her on your side.” That meant a lot to me.
If this is part of my personal and professional brand legacy, then I am very happy. You don’t need to be Oprah to build your legacy. Just be you every day.
How are you building your personal and professional legacy?