13-18 November is International Working Out Loud Week. The theme of this WOLWeek is ‘Deepen Relationships and Create a Legacy’. In the first two days we have looked at why we need to deepen relationships and how Working Out Loud can help. Today we explore legacies. 

We are all drowning in the challenges of our work. A digital economy has created new expectations of responsiveness, breadth of engagement and agility that increase the time demands of our work. At the same time there are more messages and more to understand. When now has never been more insistent, who has time to worry about a legacy?

Legacies Are What We Leave Behind Today 

We often think of legacies as a gift that occurs at the end of our life, our career or our role. Legacies are what we leave behind when we move on to other things. This idea that legacies are an issue for the end can lure us into the idea that creating a legacy is work that we do towards the end. 

Great legacies are built day-by-day. Every interaction we have leaves behind a legacy of our contributions, our handling of the interaction and of how we will be remembered. You can’t change a lifetime of interactions with a flurry of change at the end. You will be remembered for what you do, not how you market yourself. 

To create a legacy we need to use every interaction and every moment to move towards that goal. That means we need a purposeful goal to guide us through the challenges and inspire the ongoing effort. It also means we need to be thinking about how each relationship interaction can contribute and how we contribute to others. 

Our Relationships Shape Our Legacy

Legacies are all about contribution to others. Remember they aren’t for us. We won’t be there when the legacy is to be measured. Others will assess the effect & influence we had. 

We often thing of a legacy as a thing. Often a legacy is far more significant than a temporary achievement or a product delivered. A word of advice can echo for years and do immeasurable good. A lesson shared can save time and cost that enables another to achieve more. A helping hand can help encourage a culture of generosity that effects everyone. 

We can use working out loud to take the time out of creating a legacy. We can use our current work and our every day interactions to shape the way we influence others and will be remembered. We can start that work today. 

Tomorrow we will dive into how to use working out loud to create a legacy.