IF a Matriarch or Patriarch builds a successful business yet has no long-term impact on his or her family, did they build a family legacy?
As this question implies, family is crucial in building a family legacy. A legacy is established by leaving something of enduring quality behind for family and for the business. It is not just up to the senior generation to create and build a legacy, every family member has the opportunity to contribute based on his or her own experiences and insights. To do so, however, requires a consciousness and intention to build and nurture the family values, commitment, and faith. Each individual’s contributions may be an incremental movement toward the legacy yet to capture the valuable experiences for future generations requires long-term, ongoing building, living and leaving a legacy.
In a Will and a Trust, a legacy is a bequest, something of value handed down to someone else. Family legacies are built over time and have a living quality. Family legacies grow and change as each generation builds on the past and contributes to the future.
A family legacy must be digested and absorbed before it can be passed on. Building a legacy and living it requires active participation by all family members. It is meaning gleaned by the next generation from the senior generation through intentional interaction and dialogue and observation.
Overemphasizing the leaving aspect of legacy and underemphasizing the building and living aspect is easy to do. Each and every family member can build and live the family legacy at any age.
When legacy building becomes part of a Family’s culture it can serve a critical role for future generations. Legacy is a valuable gift for a family but is only possible when each and every family member is aware of the powerful legacies they have to offer.
How are you helping to build your family’s legacy as we move into a New Year?
I would love to hear how you are doing this with your family or discuss ways you and your family can make a conscious effort to build your Family’s Legacy.