At the moment I am looking at three little lists (I always carry a little notebook with me to write down ideas, things to do, thoughts, quotes etc immediately - getting a bit older so fear I might forget one!)
One list has to be ticked-off completely today, the other is already a preparation for a meeting I have tomorrow (lunch included!) and the third, well, that's the reason I'm ignoring both other lists at the moment. It reads: Dawud's post about meaning connect with Lee Fowler Newsletter, plus link to focus post of Kent. Does that make sense to you? (If I don't write this post today it wouldn't also to me any more ;-))
On Good Friday Dawud Miracle @ dmiracle.com started a post that attracted lots of conversations: Does Your Business Make Meaning? (I still hope ours does to our customers and lately we see more and more the results of that is does - to some). The conversation at Dawud's became very eh lively and at one point I copied a quote I found this Tuesday on Lee Fowler's weekly newsletter:
"A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large."
(One can only hope ;-))
Anyway (phone call from an architect 'got in the way' just now and I'd almost lost the thread of my own thoughts), Lee's newsletter contained the following article of Jim Rohn, which in my humble opinion fits right in with the conversation about 'making meaning'
Leave a legacy
There are literally thousands of men and women who lived in a way that affects our lives today.
You see, a legacy can be anywhere on the continuum, from very bad to very good. It all depends on how we live our lives.
Why is leaving a legacy important? Here are a few reasons:
The legacy we leave is part of the ongoing foundations of life. Those who came before leave us the world we live in. Those who will come after will have only what we leave them. We are stewards of this world, and we have a calling on our lives to leave it better than how we found it, even if it seems like such a small part.
Legacies have raw power for good and for bad. There are people who have changed the world for good, people who have opened up new worlds for millions of others, people who have spurred others on to new heights. And there are people who have caused massive destruction for countless millions, people who left a wake of pain behind them wherever they went.
There are parents who have blessed their children with greatness and other parents who have ruined their children's fragile minds and hearts. What we do affects others. Our lives have the power to create good or purvey evil. It is important that we choose to do good.
It is an act of responsibility to leave a legacy. Because of the power of our lives and the legacies we leave, it is a great responsibility to choose to leave a positive legacy. All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. I truly believe that part of what makes us good and honourable people is to have a foundational part of our lives based on the goal of leaving a legacy.
Purposefully leaving a legacy for others breaks the downward pull of selfishness that can be inherent in us. When we strive to leave a legacy, we are acting with a selflessness that can only be good for us. Yes, I suppose someone could work hard to earn money so that when he or she dies, a building is named after them, but that is not the kind of legacy we are talking about. We are talking about legacies that make life better for those who come after us, not about our own fame or recognition, but about helping others. After all, we won't be around to watch our legacy. To build that which will last beyond us is selfless, and living with that in mind breaks the power of selfishness that tries so desperately to engrain itself in our lives.
It also keeps us focused on the big picture. Legacy building is "big picture." It keeps us focused on the long term and gives us values that we can judge our actions by. When we are acting based on selfishness, personal expediency and the like, we are "small picture"--whatever is pragmatic right now. When we are building a life that will give for many years, we are "big picture." Ask yourself: How does this action affect my overall goals? How will this affect people in the years to come?
Yes, your legacy is very important.
Are you still here? Good, sorry it is turning into a long post, can't really be helped at this moment I'm afraid.
My favourite sentence in this article must be "We are talking about legacies that make life better for those who come after us, not about our own fame or recognition, but about helping others."
If you translate that into a business vision, statement, hedge-hog concept it is that same part where 'making meaning' comes in.
And where does the link to Kent Blumberg's blog come into then? "How to Focus Your Work"
lists four steps on focusing, focus on priorities even. Step 1 is the link (IMHO) to 'making meaning' and 'leaving a legacy':
- Get clear on why you and your team exist. What is your core mission? Why does your organization pay for your team? Boil this down until you can state that mission in a single sentence. Write it down and share it widely.
It's step 4 (step 4.3 to be precise) that has me neglecting my priorities towards our core mission, making meaning and legacy. Too many items on too many lists, so from now on (no, make that tomorrow lunch meeting with my mentor, will work it out together with him - and get a better
list result) I will follow Kent's step 2: focus on the five key objectives (and stay on course to make meaning).
To be really honest we've already started focusing on some key objectives this month already (thanks for providing the list of other focusing questions Kent, big help it turns out to be). And yesterday our
new renewed focus on our ADDS (Architects, Designers, Developers and Self-builders) won me the weekly BNI-Ashford best 60 seconds presentation trophy, how about that!
(Now, where did I leave my have to be finished today's list again?)