14 Keys to Leave a Lasting Legacy

Leave a Legacy to Be Proud of

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by Milton Campbell

Do you want to leave a legacy behind? No one lasts forever and all that is left when we leave is our lasting legacy. What are you going to leave for the people that you have influence over and care for? In this article, you will discover 14 new ways on how to build a legacy.

In a study conducted on data from Experian, 73% of Americans that passed away in 2016 had over $60K in debt. Luckily your legacy is not only about leaving money. Don’t get me wrong it’s great to leave some money behind for your loved ones but that’s far from the only thing you leave behind.

Table of Contents

Definition of Legacy

What is a legacy? A legacy is what you leave behind when you are not there. It doesn’t always mean gone from this earth. It might mean when you move on from the position you currently work in. Maybe it means when your children get old enough to move out on their own. Family legacy is important like career legacy.

We all leave our mark on others and the organizations we cross paths with. The question is how positive is your legacy going to be? How many people’s lives are you going to make better for coming in contact with you? Follow these tips to leave a lasting legacy for others.

How to Leave a Legacy – Build Your Legacy Starting Now

Image of stairs leading to light for how to leave a legacy section. Build a legacy that lasts long after you're gone.

Tip #1: Walk the Talk

“Words do less than 10 things, but actions do more than 10 thousand things. Leaders don’t talk in vain; they follow with actions.”

– Israelmore Ayivor

Nobody likes a hypocrite. Do the things that you say you’re going to do. The most respectable people are the ones that say “Do as I say because I’ll be right there doing it with you.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done something that many believe is below my pay grade. Typically, someone who works for me offers to take over out of respect. I rarely let them because I’m not too good to do anything that I would expect them to do. 

Always promote a positive professional image. To learn how to build a positive professional image check out this article.

Tip #2: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

When it comes to building a legacy, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and is something you should be working toward every day. Don’t try to rush it, or you may hurt your legacy. If you want to learn how to build a legacy, it’s something you build up over your whole lifetime.

Tip #3: Add Value to Those Around You

“Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”

– Seth Godin

An easy way to be remembered is by adding value to those around you. You can add value to others by helping them achieve their goals. It’s a very simple concept, yet one that many people miss. There is no better way to leave a legacy than by helping others succeed in their careers and in life.

Tip #4: Add Value to the Place You Work For a Powerful Legacy

Look for ways to add value to the place you work at. The more value you add to your employer the more they will do to keep you. Including put you in better positions to make more of a difference. 

Tip #5: Know Your Mission and Vision

Image of notebook with mission, vision, & values on it explaining what is a legacy.

What are your mission and vision? What are you trying to achieve, and how do you want the future to be? Answer these questions to yourself. Your mission and vision guide you in all that you do. Let others in on your mission and vision. If others believe in your mission and vision they will do what they can to help you achieve it. With a good mission and vision, people will continue to pursue your goals. Even if you are not around continuing and building on your legacy.

A great way to understand your vision is with a vision statement. Learn to make a vision statement that inspires and motivates others in this article. Click to learn how to easily create a vision board to keep your eyes on the prize. 

Tip #6: Be a Mentor

Being a mentor to others is extremely rewarding.

A mentor is someone who offers wisdom and guidance. When you think of mentors, you may think of Abraham Lincoln or Mahatma Gandhi. But mentors can be found all around you. In the boardroom, in the classroom, or even in your own family. And they can be particularly important to young people just starting out in business. Mentors help others develop skills and personality traits that will serve them throughout their life.

Mentors can help with just about everything. From developing skills to finding jobs to getting life advice. You don’t have to be a successful entrepreneur to become a mentor. In fact, some of the most famous mentors in history were not successful when they began their careers. Abraham Lincoln served as a captain during the Black Hawk War and later lost several elections before becoming president of the United States. Walt Disney was fired from his first job after he drew a mouse instead of an automobile on the cartoon he was hired to animate.

To learn the art of mentoring check out this article.

Tip #7: Be a Leader

Being a leader is not about telling people what to do. It’s about setting the example and being the type of person people will look up to.

Being a great leader requires building a certain set of qualities and skills. Build these qualities in yourself and others will follow you. Even if you are in a position of power like being a supervisor or manager it doesn’t mean you are a leader.

Managing and leading are very different things. If you are already a leader, think about how to leave a legacy on your followers.

Tip #8: Continue to Learn and Develop

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”

– Chinese Proverb

Continually strive to get better and achieve personal growth. The more you learn, the more value you will provide to others. The more others will come to you for advice and wisdom. Reading blogs, like this one, are a great start. There are many things you can do to increase your personal and professional development. Click for a list of 15 great personal and professional development sites that are free.

Tip #9: Pass Skills and Knowledge on to Others

You have a lot to offer to others. Take every opportunity you can to train others. We have a saying in my line of work “Always train your replacement”. This means you want others to be able to step up and take on your job when the time comes. This gives you the freedom to move up and not have to worry about who is going to fill your spot. Even if these people never take your job, they get a better understanding of what you do. They will take some things off your plate giving you more time to spread your vision and leave a legacy. 

Tip #10: Volunteer

Image of hands creating a heart for the volunteer section.

Volunteering is a great way to not only build your legacy but also help people out. There are many things you can do to volunteer that you can enjoy doing. You can tutor kids at your local high school. You can help build a house with your local Habitat for Humanity. Your local children’s hospitals are always looking for toys and donations, so you can start a toy drive. I listed just a few of the many ways you can volunteer and give back to your community while you build a legacy. For more great volunteer opportunities check out Volunteer Match

Tip #11: Make a Difference

We’ve discussed a few ways you can make a difference like mentoring or volunteering, but there are many ways you can make a difference. Look for things in your work center or your community that are worth fixing or can be done better. Everything that you improve on leaves an everlasting footprint and helps you leave a legacy that lasts. 

Tip #12: Tell Your Story

“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”

– Morgan Harper Nichols

You have an awesome story to tell. Let others know about your successes and failures along your journey called life. Teach people the lessons you’ve learned. Don’t just tell people when they are making a mistake, use your story to show them why they are making a mistake. Your story is something nobody else has and can be a great way to teach others and leave a legacy. You may also help others learn how to leave a legacy of their own.

Tip #13: Share Your Passion

Have a passion for what you do. Share your motivation and passion with others. You will be surprised by how much others are motivated and inspired by your passion. This will help you connect with others that may have the same passions but are too afraid to share theirs with the world. Imagine what kind of world we would have if Walt Disney didn’t share his passion for entertaining with the world.

Tip #14: Be Ready for Setbacks

Setbacks are bound to happen. We can’t make the right decision every time. When setbacks happen in your journey to leave a legacy, don’t let them stop you. Get right back up and keep going. The best leaders are forged in times of adversity

Do You Have To Be Famous to Leave a Legacy?

The truth is that most people are never famous. But there’s good news for those who hope to leave a legacy. It’s not always about achieving fame and fortune. It’s about leaving your mark on the world, regardless of how you do it.

If you provide value for others. Make them smile or make them feel better about themselves. If you take time to help someone in need. If you can wake up each day at peace with yourself because of your actions, then your life will be an amazing success.

The more good that you do for others, the better will come back to you. And the more love and kindness that you give out, the more will come back to you. This is a universal law! You don’t have to be famous or rich to leave your legacy. All you really need to do is live a good life and it’s never too late to start. Live your legacy now.

Inspirational Quotes for Building and Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Image of a note saying "A little progress each day adds up to big results."

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life. But rather a legacy of character and faith.” – Billy Graham

“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” – Jim Rohn

“Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L. Alder

“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” – Peter Strople

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.” – Idowu Koyenikan

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“A friend of mine said something powerful at his grandfather’s funeral. He said that the greatest lesson from his grandfather’s life was that he died empty, because he accomplished everything he wanted, with no regrets. I think that, along with leaving a legacy, would be the greatest sign of success.” – Marvin Sapp

Wrapping It Up

We all leave an imprint on our children, our friends, our family, our communities, our jobs, and many other people we cross paths with. It’s up to you to make that legacy a positive one. Follow these tips and look for opportunities to make everyone and everything around you better. This will ensure you will leave a legacy that’s positive and lasting.

Now it’s your turn. What is your legacy going to be?

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Milton Campbell

I'm passionate about personal and professional development. I started Growth Tactics to not only share the knowledge I've gained as a manager and leader but also improve my skills. My vision is to help people be the best versions of themselves. Let's grow together.