Legacy is so much bigger than we often believe it to be. Legacy is the footprint we leave behind. Leaving one is inevitable. Legacy has generational effects. It is a ‘for better or worse’ concept. The best-loved and adored leaders in our world have typically been the ones who have carved their own paths. Certainly, they each had their own way of leading, learning, or leaning into life; however, when we look at leadership entirely, we can see some broad strokes that have been painted.

One of the key components of developing strategy is to play the long game. Business is not simply about what can be gained presently, but what can be presented over time, and how that business’s impact can be prolonged and perpetually proven to stand the test of time… legacy.

Legacy is so much more than a considerable sum in your bank account that you leave to family. It is more than having a street named after you or to have your company’s name engraved on a building, although each of those pieces are just that… pieces of the whole picture.

Here are eight steps to create a legacy in your business (and while we are at it… life too) and how to get started (and if you already have created legacy… take time and see if there is anything in these steps that is needing a refresh, a review, or a renewed spirit).

  1. Launch Your Vision –

What are you so passionate about that you want to be remembered for? Do you know your life’s purpose? What gets you up in the morning and challenges you to be better today than you were yesterday?

These are the questions that need to be asked. Create your vision board. Dream big. Start today. Make ‘one day’ today. Flip the script and now you are on ‘day one’ of your vision.

  1. Leave Your mark

Here we go deeper into the concept of leaving a legacy. Challenge yourself. Write a letter to your future self with the legacy you want to leave. Seal it, put it away for six months or if you’re brave enough, a year and then come back and evaluate it. How far have you moved your needle? If you are committed enough, do this every year for five years.

  1. Level Up Your Resources

What tools do you need to be successful at leaving your mark and launching your vision? Need skills? Invest in training and learn them. Want more knowledge? Develop a reading plan. Read one book a month for a year. Next year, read two a month. Find a mentor. Invest in yourself so you can show up as your best self… Every. Day.

  1. Live In Your value

You’re qualified… Now what? How are you qualified? Bring your values, morals, ethics, convictions to the table. Live them out. Have an accountability person to hold you to it. Live ‘as if’ you have left your mark.

  1. Leverage Your Toolbox

You have skills. You have knowledge. You have value. You have dedication. A toolbox is only as good as the tools in it. Use what you have. Dull tool… No worries, go back to step two and level back up.

Use your tools. They are not meant to simply be learned and hoarded. Legacy leavers (and benevolent leaders) will challenge others around them to be better leaders and legacy leavers than themselves.

  1. Look Past Your Future

Legacy simply outlives you. Look two, three, four generations down the road. When you become the great-great-great grandparent of the business, the family… ask yourself what that looks like. One thing is true, we will not physically live here forever.

How do you want to be remembered? When you are clear, live every day striving for that to be a reality now.

  1. Locate Your Integrity

Be willing to ask the tough questions around how you show up in all areas of your life. Challenging questions create opportunities for growth and development. They pave the way for you to live in your value, your morality, your ethics. This is the bond that holds your legacy together.

  1. Lead Your Life On Purpose

The results you have are a direct result of the actions you take. Once you are clear on what you want, purpose everything you do to achieve those goals. Surround yourself with people who will support, encourage, and spur you towards excellence.

Now, it is your turn. Grab a piece of paper and write down four things you need to do this week to increase your legacy. Get to it!