Back in 2015 I was doing some research on the aspect of creating a legacy. I was gazing into the future from my own personal perspective and wondered what might be some of the outcomes of the journey that I was on. Fast forward a few years and I again am asking myself much the same questions and hoping that this time the answers will be clearer.
Legacy is defined as very simply, “anything handed down from the past.” Now there are a number of other definition variations but none that seem to apply with what I was looking for. “Anything handed down from the past” would mean to me that it is not part of your legacy until it has happened and obviously the greater the time frame in between the more of an impact it may well have or be.
When I look at mentoring and what the legacy might be that any of us could leave it would most definitely be more in line with this definition. Mentoring is about storytelling and those stories are about our past experiences. How you tell those stories will determine the impact that they would have on someone and that will create the legacy of varying proportions. As I am writing this article I am now beginning to see that what I do and what I say in the next few years will shape the legacy that I will leave. The impact that I have through my storytelling will be far reaching as I continue to share the “gift of mentoring!”
The influence that we have on a person through the “gift of mentoring” is something that we may not realize in the moment. Down the road after some reflection we begin to see the impact that we have had on someone as they grow on a personal and professional level. That reflection is reinforced when we receive feedback from the person we are spending time with in a mentoring relationship. For the mentee it is sometimes quite a ways down the road before they realize what has taken place and how we as mentors have created a life changing experience together.
I always ask at the end of a mentoring session “what was the value that we got from our time together today?” I am always looking for ways to enhance the mentoring experience and that is part of my legacy. I want to provide a deeper, richer and more meaningful mentoring experience. I have a deeper and richer appreciation for mentoring as a result of some significant changes to our mentor training curriculum. All of this will be part of the legacy that I will have shaped and that will continue to belief changing.
Mentoring does play a significant role in the legacy that you can leave. It is never too late to enhance that legacy. Take the time to embrace the “gift of mentoring” – can you afford not to?
Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®, a Human Resources solution provider focused on effective mentoring. Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP) and an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF). He has over 30 years of mentoring and leadership experience.
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