The Legacy of Leadership

I am a week out from the incomparable Global Leadership Summit; when Bill Hybels spoke on the topic of legacy, I immediately thought of my late grandfather, Robert Amento who wrote: Want to be humbled? Ponder how the world will consider your legacy.

Leading with love takes commitment, perseverance, self sacrifice and above all, passion. Bill shared his philosophy on the four lenses of great leadership. On some level, we are all leaders. Each of us motivates, inspires and mobilizes others in some capacity, be it in our homes, communities or workplaces.

I felt the passion in my heart quadruple as I saw the many facets that are combined to create an effective leader. Leading with the passion in my heart must flow to every part of my life; this became abundantly clear after the leadership summit.

1) Cultivate unbridled passion. This passion must continuously fill us with a burning fire to lead others from here—from where we stand to where we desire to be through self awareness, curiosity and commitment. I have been at the mountaintop filled with enough joy to spread to every single person I know, and I have been at the depth of my own valley of despair; each inspires me equally to lead with a passion that stirs souls. I want everyone to feel like their heart is on fire with passion as I do every day. We must do whatever it takes to fill our passion bucket and feed our soul.

2) People must come first (including ourselves). Allow others to feel deeply seen, valued and cared for. God values people and so He entrusts us to lead others with love. How happy are the people in our lives? Are we showing up with love and allowing them to feel our love? Are we lifting them up or tearing them down? The world desperately needs more love. We need more leaders to spread that love and increase self awareness inside each of us.

3) Strive to thrive by constantly readjusting goals. Are my goals helping or hurting my overall impact? Am we so blinded by the ego’s need to accomplish goals that we lose sight of the mission to serve others? Holding sight of our overall vision keeps us from getting stuck in this goal or that goal.

4) Leave a legacy of love. God wants us to flourish not just in our work but in our own family lives. Is our energy poured into our work so much so that we ignore our own needs or our family’s needs? Do we find time for play, volunteer work, rest and exploration? What do we truly want our legacy to be? Setting sights on balance in every area of our lives ensures that we create an impact that transcends our title or accounts or vocation. Our mission matters, but so do those in our personal lives.

My view of leadership has certainly transcended to a perspective that combines each of these four lenses; but most importantly, I learned that no matter how important our mission may be, no matter how called we feel to make an impact in the lives of others, it starts with us: in our heart and in the hearts of those closest to us. If we do not feel full of love and passion, and if our family does not feel that love and passion flowing from us, then any impact we make to the lives of others will have been at the cost of our own inner circles.

We have to show up where it counts first; before we can truly make a difference in the larger scheme of our mission’s reach. We owe it to our purpose to have a happy heart and happy home.

Because when we leave this world, there’s no telling how much our intentions can impact the world; be sure to leave a mark on those that matter most. Accomplishments and accolades or inheritance cannot fill the hearts of those we love once we are gone, but surely love will.

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