Building Community Through Better Relationships

A Legacy Has No Deadline

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. ~Oscar Wilde. In a world of voices combatting for attention, certain people manage to push bold agendas above the fray. Often it is not the smartest people, nor the most popular people. We tend to talk about people who are most passionate in promoting their opinions and drawing attention to themselves. They want to establish enduring influence. In short, they strive to create a legacy!

A legacy represents an ongoing objective that an individual or institution initiates expecting it to outlive them. It differs from a task, job, or career because it is more enduring. But, how does an individual create a legacy that perpetuates across generations? How do you assemble accomplishments that people continue talking about?

The Task
For people to talk about you, you probably need to do something worth talking about. Many people go to work because they have job. Other people follow a calling, then build their labor or daily activities around that. In both cases value-based activities are based on tasks. Individuals choose to provide goods, services, or labor based on the tasks’ completion. Occasionally, individuals find happiness and fulfillment through these activities. But eventually, regardless of the level of accomplishment, the individual is replaced. The problem with tasks, regardless of how successful or profitable, is that a replacement emerges to continue the contribution. The activity drives the long-term value.

The Contributor
In other cases, an individual contribution is so outstanding that the talent becomes transferrable. A great professor can dominate a campus, then decide to teach at another institution. The classes that the professor taught will remain at the previously university. But, the excellence and prominence associated with this scholar is not fully recouped. The contributor continues delivering excellence and benefit to society as a result of developed talent. Then, the associated accolades travel with her wherever she chooses to demonstrate her excellence in her field. The contributor becomes the key to creating ongoing value.

The Transcendent Cause
However, enduring value results from a commitment to an objective greater than job fulfillment, or demonstrating one superior performer’s skill. A legacy’s value is determined by the created long-term, cross-generational benefit. Legacies are not evaluated by quarterly performance. They do not end with a career of accomplishments, innovations and intellectual breakthroughs. A legacy depends on a transcendent cause that captures the imagination of multiple individuals and subsequent groups. It has no deadline! A successful legacy’s energy requires ideas and execution beyond one person’s capacity. Legacies require continuous progress where each individual contributor adds toward a monumental, enduring destiny.

A legacy may start with an individual, but perpetuates through a movement! Participating in building a legacy exceeds a calling. Its success fundamentally merges into every contributor’s purpose. A legacy has no deadline because it evolves into a series of ongoing ideas and activities. So, if you have a job, perform it with excellence. Reap the rewards. Contribute your skills and talents in multiple environments, if that fulfills your personal goals. But, to change people’s behavior for future generations, identify the transcendent cause that inspires you to push yourself to your personal limits. Then, pursue the legacy that you want to achieve. Don’t worry about its final completion, nor its deadline, just be sure that others are prepared to continue the legacy once your portion is done.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond


December 15, 2014 - Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , ,


  1. Certainly a legacy has a sharp deadline. Death comes soon enough, yes?

    Comment by Greg Mercer, MSN | December 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Indeed, death comes soon enough! But a true legacy continues beyond death. It’s power results from your ability to impact future generations. You start it & others continue it on your behalf! Wishing you a happy & prosperous New Year!!

      Comment by Glenn W Hunter | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  2. […] is to remind the team and their fans of that fact. Furthermore, in the spirit of contributing to a legacy, the leader may not deliver the desired result, but must undoubtedly sustain progress toward the […]

    Pingback by Lets Play Two – Ernie Banks’ Winning Spirit « UpliftAnother1 | January 25, 2015 | Reply

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