Paying it forward – What does leaving a legacy mean for you?

What does leaving a legacy mean to me?” It’s a question plenty of people ask themselves during their Listening Partnership coaching sessions, and not only by those about to retire. It also affects people just starting out on their careers and those at every stage in between. An interest in finding out what a legacy means to us, and the need to know how and where we fit in the great scheme of things is universal.

The future needs our attention, intervention and care. More and more Individuals, business owners and people in all walks of life are asking “How we can contribute and give back?” Social Entrepreneurs of every age are growing in number, and many businesses are seeking alternative, more sustainable and ethical ways to operate.

Two events worth knowing about

Here are two events you might want to read more about, both of which deal with the potential of our legacies: the ideas we leave behind, the changes we make, the good we do.

The Emerge Conference – About leaving a positive, far-reaching legacy

The Listening Partnership is lucky enough to be based in Oxford, a city where leading change initiatives happen frequently, right on our doorstep. One great example is the Emerge conference at Saïd Business, part of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. It’s an exciting event, open to everyone, all about creating a better world and leaving far-reaching, positive legacies behind us.

Jude Elliman from the Listening Partnership has played a part as a panel speaker in the past, and these days likes to attend as a participant whenever she can. It’s an inspirational forum that highlights cutting-edge thinking about transformational change initiatives and ideas. If you’re interested in finding out more or attending, do click on the link below.

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The Chivas Event – Generosity and success go hand in hand

We have also enjoyed the privilege, for several years, of being coaches at the Chivas Event. It gives social entrepreneurs from across the world the chance to pitch for funding, and it’s an amazing experience to hear the contestants’ remarkable start-up stories. Their vision, their commitment, and their tenacity have moved and encouraged us as a team.

As the Chivas website says:

We believe generosity and success go hand in hand. That by sharing the good stuff we can achieve more. That’s why every year we invest $1 million in start-ups that are creating positive change and a better future. Since the launch of the Chivas venture in 2014, we have been inspired by nearly 6,000 entrepreneurs who have applied, a new generation that is doing well by doing good.

These two events are all about future legacies, paying it forwards. They are blazing a trail and opening up new avenues of discovery and impact.

Visible and invisible legacies

Big stories and ground breaking initiatives with a potentially scalable impact are inspiring. They can even be world-changing. They are, of course, creating history, and as such they’re essential. But it’s too easy to lose sight of the value of ordinary, everyday encounters against the glow of big impact narratives. And it matters because faithfully tending your patch has a cumulative effect.

Paying it forward and acting with wisdom can mean making a big splash or quiet ripples. Sometimes it’s the quiet lives that have the farthest-reaching influence. Meaning is potentially always found where we are right now, in the ordinary encounters of life. Think about the people who influenced you most. You are who you are partly because of them. Legacy lies as deeply hidden in the invisible, back stage of life as it does illuminated on the front stage and openly acknowledged.

We believe there’s great power in both the extraordinary and the ordinary. Both make the world a better place when infused with real purpose and individual values. Both pay it forward.

As J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books says “I think you have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.

If you’re inspired and want to explore your own legacy, you may be interested in reading this blog post too

Maya Angelou, the author and poet who inspired thousands if not millions with her wise, powerful perspectives. As she says: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.“ Her attitude was particularly generous: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.

Explore your personal legacy

If you want to explore more about your personal legacy, find out how to be a social entrepreneur or want to take your business to the next level, contact us. We will be pleased to discuss the coaching possibilities.