Walking the Talk Blog

What will be your legacy?

[fa icon="calendar"] 17-Sep-2009 23:03:00 / by Carolyn Taylor

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Last week I went to a yoga class in a centre built on a beautiful piece of land, with yoga platforms overlooking the ocean.
 

It has been there for about 40 years, despite pressure from nearby developers to sell the site. The experience was a most pleasurable one, as I am sure it is for the many travellers who visit. The center has an interesting history. The land was bequeathed by a father giving thanks for how yoga had transformed his daughter who had suffered a drug addiction and come out of it through yoga. He wanted others to have the same opportunity his daughter had.

As I attempted to hold my body in seemingly impossible poses and watched the boats sail by, my mind wandered to the legacy this father had left. How powerful to create an opportunity for others to grow, and embed it in a way that it lasts beyond you. That to me feels like a goal worth pursuing.

I believe culture offers us as leaders that opportunity. It takes effort to instil a set of shared values in a team or organization, but wherever I have seen it achieved, the impact is permanent. Experiencing a great culture is a transformational event. Transformational in the sense that, once experienced, you can never go back. People who have lived in that way become evangelical about it – they will not accept lower standards in the future. So as a worst case scenario, in building a great culture you change the lives of a group of people. Best case, and most likely outcome, the culture remains long after you leave, and embeds a capability in the organization which contributes to performance way into the future.

We all have a choice about the legacy we leave. Being conscious about our options produces a focus which increases our impact. Through this website I want to build a community of people who are passionate about using culture to build remarkable organizations. I think together we can leave a legacy which is broader than great individual organizations. I would like to participate in changing the values of corporate life, so that a high quality work experience becomes the norm, rather than the exception, for employees, and companies make decisions for sustainability.

That you are reading this blog suggests that you share this passion. Do please comment below with your perspective, and pass on the link to this site to others who feel the same way.

 
Image via Creative Commons.

 

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Topics: Culture change, Leadership, Sustainability

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