What will your work legacy be?

Legacy

“Something that is a part of your history or that remains from an earlier time.” – Cambridge Dictionary

When we speak about a legacy, it is often in the context of when someone has passed away. One may hear “George was an amazing husband, father and family man.” or “Andrea was so selfless to the needs of others and gave so much back to her community.” Not only do we leave a legacy when we leave this earth but also in the workplaces we inhabit during our lifetime. Whether one has spent their entire career in one organization or moved around from place to place, everyone of us has a work legacy we leave behind.

Will people miss you or will they be happy you are on your way out the door? Will you be known as a brilliant business person, a deal maker, a teacher and facilitator, a backstabber, a hard-worker, bully, one of the mean girls or guys, a manipulator or micro-manager, coach, confidant, collaborator, someone who includes other, who is inclusive, makes people feel at home, a team player, a peacemaker or relationship builder.

No matter what ones role in an organization is, we all leave it with a legacy – positive, negative or indifferent. If you left today, what would your legacy be? Is this something you would be proud of? If not, what are you doing to change it?

Remember YOU and your actions have the power to decide what legacy you will leave others with. What do you think your legacy will be? What do you hope it will be?

First Impressions 

On our daily travels, we interact with many people including those we share space with on our commute to work, to the barista we purchase our coffee from to our team members and prospective clients. It takes 1/10 of a second to form a first impression based on facial impressions and non-verbal communication. Do you smile and make eye contact? Do you cross your arms and come across at standoffish? People tend to trust their gut reactions when meeting someone. What impression are you making to others on your travels?

A Map is Worth a Thousand Words

Do you feel like you lack creativity? Are you ever stuck trying to come up with new ideas? Is your preferred learning style a visual one? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may love a great brainstorming tool called Mind Mapping®

A Mind Map® is 

  • A colourful, visual form of note taking that can be worked on by one person or a group of individuals
  • At its heart is a central idea or image
  • The idea is explored by the means of branches representing main ideas which all connect to the central image of idea

I lucky to be introduced to the concept of Mind Mapping® when I joined the Junior League where we used it to plan a community project. It helped our team to brainstorm by documenting any ideas that popped to mind to help create a place to start our planning from. It is a brainstorming tool that I continue to return to when I am looking to spark creativity.

Mind Mapping® is very practical both professionally and personally and one can utilize this brainstorming tool in the following ways:

Professional

  • Action Plans
  • Agenda
  • Business Plans
  • Disaster Planning
  • Leading a Meeting
  • Launching a New Venture
  • Lesson Plans
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Presentation Development
  • Project Plans 

Personal 

  • Event Planning
  • Holiday Shopping Plan
  • Interview Preparation
  • Resume Development
  • Study Notes
  • Travel Planning
  • Weekly Calendar

If you are interested in learning more, you may wish to visit these great resources from Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Mapping®.

Web:
http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/
 

Books:
The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps® – Unlock your Creativity, Boost your Memory, Change your Life – Tony Buzan – 2005

Mind Maps® at Work – How to Be the Best at your Job and Still Have Time to Play – Tony Buzan – 2004

A map is worth a thousand words. Have fun and happy mapping!

New Beginnings

image

September and back to school has always felt like a time of new beginnings to me. While I am no longer in school, I enjoy the rituals, excitement and the sense of new this time of year brings. September is also a time of reflection.

In September 1996, my great grandmother who was like a second mother to me passed away. While expected, the loss of a loved one is never easy but I decided to move forward with a previously planned holiday to Vancouver to visit a dear university friend. Always one to make friends on my travels, I enjoyed a lovely conversation with my seatmate who was a successful businessman in the latter stages of his career. During our journey, he shared this insight about life with me.

“Many view life as three parts – school, work and retirement – where we finally get to pursue and enjoy pleasurable pursuits. Many go through life like this but to truly enjoy life fully we should incorporate all elements throughout our lives.”

I truly believe people come into our lives for a reason and I was so thankful to receive this message just two years into my professional life and after the loss of my great grandmother. To this day, this is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received and has helped me weather the ups and downs and challenges that life has brought.

I definitely took this message to heart and continue to put it into practice by always learning, by volunteering and giving back to my community and ensuring that I do things I enjoy. Good health and retirement are not a given. We must not wait to do the things we want to do until later in life. We all need to live fully now.

As we embark on a change of season, are there aspects in your life that feel out of balance? Is there something you always wanted to learn even just for fun? Are you waiting until retirement to travel? Are you dreading going to work every day? Do you want to make an impact in your community? Are you having challenges with your health? Are you consistently missing out on spending time making memories with your family and friends? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to reflect on what is important to you and consider implementing this simple yet valuable advice by including something that may be missing into your life now. Many wait until January 1st to make resolutions or changes in their lives or keep putting them off all together. Why wait when you can embark on change today. Remember it is never too late for a new beginning.

Happy September!