he Law of Legacy is the 21st of John C. Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The law states that “a leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.”
Your legacy is what you leave behind for generations after you. It is what people will remember you for long when you are gone.
For example, Malcolm Forbes left Forbes Magazine a legacy for his children and the world. Before his death, he chose a spot on his private island in Fiji, and left instructions that his tombstone be inscribed with these words: ”While alive, he lived.”
What he wanted inscribed on his tombstone says it all: “While alive, he lived.” — Malcolm Forbes Jr. on his father.Tweet
So, if you too want to leave a lasting legacy and want your leadership to have meaning, you want to ask yourself, “What do I want people to say at my funeral?”
Why the Law of Legacy is important
The Law of Legacy is important because you can start living your legacy from today. You don’t have to die to before living a legacy.
John C. Maxwell focused his life on adding value to leaders, Michael Jordan has put his name on Basketball, Nelson Mandela is synonymous with freedom and justice, Martin Luther King Jr. symbolizes the dream, Mother Teresa has put her name on hospitality, Steve Jobs is an icon for innovation, and Warren Buffet is a brand in the world of investing.
What comes to people’s mind when your name is mentioned? A honest answer to this question could help you live while you are alive, and help you live a legacy.
There is no dress rehearsal for life, so, you have to be intentional about the kind of legacy you want to live. You have to be very intentional about making the most of life because your time here is limited.
Also, The Law of Legacy will help you get a life sentence. Your life sentence is a statement summarizing the goal and purpose of your life. It sets the direction for your life, determines the legacy you will live, and helps you to live the rest of your life behind the bars of your life goal and purpose.
My life sentence is, ” I want to help people live a meaning-full life.” — @sajigroupTweet
How to enforce the Law of Legacy
Now that you know what the Law of Legacy is and why it is important, here are five things you can do today to start applying the law to your life:
- Know the legacy you want to live: Don’t let things just happen to you, determine to make things happen. “Your life is a book, the pages are a daily record of our efforts, trials, pleasures, discouragements, and your achievements, and you’re the only one who have the power to choose what will be written in the book of your life.” — Grenville Kleiser.
Someday, people will summarize your life in a single sentence. My advice: pick it now! — @JohnCMaxwellTweet
- Live the legacy you want to live: Trust is the foundation of leadership. For people to trust you as a leader, you must live what you say you believe. In like manner, if you want to create a legacy, you need to live it first. You must become what you desire to see in others.
- Choose who will carry on your legacy: So many leaders put their energy in to organizations, buildings, systems, or other lifeless objects, but these things are temporary and they do not last. A legacy lives on in people, not things,” so, choose wisely who will carry on your legacy.
- Make sure you pass the baton: Life is a relay race. If you want what you are building to continue, you must pass the baton. No matter how well you live and lead, if you don’t pass the baton, you will not leave the legacy you desire.
In summary, do not judge your ability as a leader by what you achieved personally because it will be judged by how well the people you invested in carried on after you are gone.