The Middle English adaptation to “Legacy” became a description of the legal concept of a gift of property or a bequest; more generally, it came to refer to almost anything handed down from the past. In our present day, this can be either positive or refer negatively to something obsolete.
If you’re building a reputation, a team, or a business, the legacy you create matters. It can be a gift, something truly worthy of remembering and handing down. For that to be the case, however, requires those efforts to be rooted in unshakable principles and lived daily through clear focus and disciplined action. And it takes time, lots of it. A generation is the minimum and even greater value accrues if the legacy lives on in and passes through future generations. It’s like passing on DNA.
Distilling the essence of a legacy is like discovering buried treasure. It matters where you look and it requires piecing together many clues. When found, it must be protected if it is to be shared with others. Lasting value is achieved through respect and sharing; a legacy is delicate and it is priceless, but it doesn’t live in a vault or a museum. Legacy only lives in and through people.