As an executive life coach, I have seen that coming to terms with mortality is often a major challenge for leaders to accept.
This applies to leaders from all walks of life. Questions such as what would others think about them after they are gone? Would people remember them long after they pass on from this world? What would people remember them by…tend to play on their mind.
A realization that people do not remember leaders for what they do for themselves, they are remembered for what they do for others, is the cornerstone for a changed realization that dawns on coachees.
Use of existential questions during life coaching sessions such as, are you here to do something, or just for something to do? If yes, what is it? What difference will you make? What will your legacy be? Could be a trigger for bringing about a lasting behavioral change.
A book – A Leader’s Legacy, explains most leaders want to leave a mark in their fields, to create a lasting imprint by their work being appreciated and remembered. A Leader’s legacy is more than a link to a position or place in an organization.
A legacy comes from the idea that everyone, regardless of position, can make a difference.
In executive coaching, getting the coachee thinking about legacies, means getting them to move beyond short-term definitions of success.
Legacies cover the past, present, and future, and compel us to think about where we have been, where we are now, and where we’re going. A mission to leave a lasting legacy is a passage from accomplishment to significance.
Through guided self-exploration, reflection, and introspection, an executive life coach, gets the coachee to think about how they would want to be remembered, thus planting the seeds of change and a deep conscious understanding for living impactful lives. By living each day purposefully, one can create a unique legacy.
A realization, to make the world a better place than we found it, brings about a profound shift in perspective and thinking.
One of the great joys and grave responsibilities of leaders is making sure that those in their care live lives not only of success but also of significance and impact.
During coaching sessions, inflection points are reached and deep transformation begins when leaders see their role of serving others, as the best way of leaving the most lasting legacies.
Many coachees see teaching and mentoring as one way of serving. It’s one of the many ways; they can pass along the lessons hard-earned & learned from experience, ensuring that their team members don’t repeat these.
This is impactful, particularly to those who look immediately to them for leadership.
By asking tough questions, a life coach can trigger thoughts of how the coachee wants to be remembered.
The resultant internal churn helps leaders live purposeful lives. As a coach, it is important to have the coachee see a broader sustainable perspective, leadership is not solely about producing results.
Being a leader brings with it a conscientiousness to do something of worth, which makes families, communities, work organizations, nations, the environment, and the world better places than they are today.
Leadership is a bond between those who seek to lead and those who opt to follow. No matter how much formal power and authority positions give them, leaders only leave a lasting legacy if others want to be in a relationship with them of their own volition.
Lasting success depends upon whether team members & followers have confidence in, trust and respect, their leaders. All leaders should want to be respected. This will result in more enabling actions — such as listening, training, developing skills, providing choice, making connections, which will create higher levels of performance and also help leaders leave behind a legacy amongst people they have touched in different ways.