I’ve had several experiences recently that got me thinking about what work and life success actually means for me. First, I heard a book review of Buzz Aldrin’s Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon. In it, he describes the career-topping success of being the second person to walk on the moon, followed by the shattering realization that he had no remaining career goals and no idea of what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
Soon after, I read the most recent newsletter from Doug Stevenson, a consultant who is skilled in incorporating storytelling into effective leadership. Unlike most of his newsletters, this one wasn’t about tips and techniques. Instead, he reflected on his successful career and how his priorities changed once he became a grandfather.
At this stage of my life, having had a level of success that is very fulfilling, the questions I ask myself have changed. Instead of asking how I can get more bookings or what story I should tell in my next keynote, I’m more interested in what to do after the applause. What do I want my life to look like ten years from now? — Doug Stevenson
Glenn Llopis at Forbes described this as a “legacy-driven mindset.” He says it is important, not only at the end of one’s career, but throughout one’s professional life. It can help us build and sustain our leadership success by:
- Knowing our personal identity and values
- Leading from a set of guiding principles
- Leading with courage and taking risks when needed
- Helping others to advance
- Promoting responsibility and accountability
So where do you want to be in the next 10 years with your leadership and life journey? What will work and life success look like at the end of your career? How could a legacy-driven mindset help you to get there?
Dee Anne Bonebright