Leadership In a Word: Legacy

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

–Billy Graham

A word about legacy

The world was saddened to hear the recent news of the passing of Rev. Billy Graham. His life and ministry were one of selfless service to the world. If you were to look back on the landscape of history the past one hundred years or so and point to leaders who have made a lasting impact for good upon the world, Billy Graham would most certainly be on the short list of those people.

In a world filled with so much division and strife, his passing is a reminder to us of a better way. Ours is a culture that in many ways has forgotten what selfless service, love, grace, and forgiveness is about.

In a world filled with so much division and strife, his passing is a reminder to us of a better way. Ours is a culture that in many ways has forgotten what selfless service, love, grace, and forgiveness is about. The opening sentence in Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life crystallizes the point that must be made, “It’s not about you.” Yet, too often our lives and actions say otherwise.

The legacy of Billy Graham is not one of just numerical measurements. Yet, a report I read said he conducted 417 crusades around the world. The impact of those crusades will only be known in eternity. The legacy of Billy Graham will be marked by a life lived in obedience to God’s calling and his selfless service to others. His life modeled servant leadership. It was a life well lived.

What about you? Your life and legacy as a leader may not rise to the scope and reach of Billy Graham, but your service matters.

✅  It matters to the people you serve in your community.

✅  It matters to the children you foster in your home.

✅  It matters to the people you serve in your local soup kitchen.

✅  It matters to the colleague you work alongside who needs your encouragement.

✅  It matters not so much in the big things we do but in the small.

How you will be remembered tomorrow is created by the random acts of kindness that you do today. Your legacy is a choice. Today matters.

Legacy quotes

“God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.” – Billy Graham

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L. Alder

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” – William James

A final word

I am thankful that I can say I was able to attend a Billy Graham crusade in my lifetime. His life and legacy will always be remembered. He set the bar high as it relates to living a life of service to others. I am glad he did. The world is a better place for it.

What legacy are you preparing?

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Doug Dickerson
Doug Dickersonhttps://www.dougdickerson.net/
DOUG has been speaking to audiences in the U.S. and overseas for more than 30 years. Doug knows how to spin a story, make you laugh, and how to challenge your traditional ways of thinking about leadership. Most of all, Doug is committed to helping you grow as a leader. Doug is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Palmetto Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. While his leadership expertise has its roots in ministry and teaching. His background also includes public relations and business. Doug understands the necessity of leadership development and why creating a leadership culture in your organization is critical to your success. He is the author of four leadership books including: Leaders Without Borders, 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders, Great Leaders Wanted, It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move, and Leadership by the Numbers. As a speaker, Doug delivers practical and applicable leadership insights with a dose of humor and authenticity that endears him to a wide range of audiences. Doug is a John Maxwell Team member.