Isn’t it funny the things we remember in our life, things that occurred so long ago or from the smallest of interactions. One of my my earliest memories is my primary school friend Logan. He was a tough little soldier; walking to school barefoot and one day I even saw a nail in his heal, I don’t think he even knew.
Logan was an adventurer, he loved climbing up onto the school roof and when he saw me struggling with that, he became strategic and would build a staircase out of whatever he could find. In my eyes Logan was cool and creative, but in the eyes of my teachers he was the naughtiest kid in school with the principal even asking my parents “why do you let a kid like that into your house”.
At only 8 years of age he’d been written-off as misfit, too hard and where could a kid like that go. The thing is Logan didn’t have a home, I mean he lived in a house but his mum was always drunk, dinner was what he could make or buy for five bucks and the rest of his family were teenagers doing radical teenage things. School could have and should have been Logan’s place of balance and under another form of leadership it could have become his guiding family.
I reflected on this story upon recently being asked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference themed ‘from leader to legacy’. At first glance of the word legacy my mind filled with names such as Jobs, McLaren, Theresa, but then I started remembering some of the stories unique to me that have left footprints on my life; The school principal, Logan, compliments and comments from the smallest of interactions. Our legacy isn’t just what we leave physically or financially but it is what we leave in the minds of others.
I doubt that the school principal from 1991 knows or even cares how disappointed I am in the views he held of Logan, I doubt that Logan knows or even cares about how I viewed him as the strategic, caring and inclusive little soldier that he was, and I’ve received compliments and comments that like with both of these men will never be forgotten as they have become footprints on my life.
So why is this story important and worth the space in this magazine and therefore your life. Well what we put into the world day-to-day, minute-by-minute can have a massive impact. While some things may appear so small, so simple, so just ‘part of life’ to others they are our footprints and become our legacy.
Before my talk ‘legacy’ sounded an old bold word for generals, politicians, the rich and the famous. But now I see it as an old bold world for ALL. It is our shadow, and something we all leave long after we have moved on.
So next time you walk out your door, go about your life, and see someone (maybe that very first person of the day) ask yourself how will I be remembered - this is my legacy.