How much time do we waste worrying about our personal legacy? Likely too much. If we are making life decisions based on what other people will think about us 50 years from now, we are likely missing opportunities to do something great. It seems to me that if we just do the right thing, day-in-and-day-out the whole legacy thing will take care of itself. Trying too hard to steer it can take you pretty far off the right road.
That's not to say that legacy's aren't important. They are from the standpoint that they set an example for others to follow. Mother Teresa's legacy will bring positive change in the lives of millions of people she's never met over the course of human history. Lindsay Lohan's...not so much.
So if you're doing the right thing personally and professionally, your legacy will take care of itself.
It struck me like a baseball bat upside my thick skull last week, the Chamber of Commerce enjoys a partnership with many local businesses that spans DECADES! Let's call them "Legacy Members". I am absolutely humbled by the hundred businesses that have partnered with the Chamber of Commerce longer than 20 years, scores that have been with us for over 30 years, nearly a dozen that have belonged for over 50 years, and more than a handful that have been partnered with the Chamber for over 70 years! SEVENTY YEARS!
The Office of the President of CSU-Chico has been a registered member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 80 years.
The length of time these businesses have partnered with the Chamber is, in itself, not a legacy. The legacy is present in the decades of success these organizations enjoyed. The owners of Northern Star Mills, Shubert's Ice Cream, JC Penney and Peters, Rush, Habib & McKenna, along with many others, have been serving this community for over 70 years and all of that time they have partnered with the Chamber. Why?
I honestly don't believe its because they love Thursday Night Mixers and Ribbon Cuttings, although those are certainly fun and entertaining. I think its because they see the value in the important advocacy work of the Chamber of Commerce. I'd also bet my last 5 cents that they do it because they want to support the rest of the business community. Perhaps, simply put, they know its the right thing to do.
So think about it. Successful longevity in business and a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce. Coincidence? I think not...