I’ve been noticeably absent from the podcast for the past couple of months, so where have I been? I planned to take 2-3 weeks off from the podcast and take my family on a much needed vacation to Turks and Caicos. On our 3rd day of the trip I got the call that no son wants to get. My dad has cancer. At first the doctors were optimistic said they thought it was treatable so they scheduled scans and started chemo.
I made it a point to spend as much time visiting him as I could. I decided to put the podcast on hold, and spend that time with my dad. I traveled to visit and spend time with him every week and called every day. I was blessed to be able to ask him the things I needed/wanted to ask him. He told me about Vietnam, and got to say all the things he felt he needed to say to me.
My friends and family prayed for his healing, and we got it. Not necessarily in the way that I was hoping, but I know the cancer is no more, and I know he’s happier and better than he was the last couple of months of his life. My father went to heaven.
I was able to talk to him and say my goodbye on one of his last fully coherent days. My dad told me he was proud of me, and I said the same back to him. He said he loved me and for me to take care of my mom and sister. It was sad, but then when the doctor came in and asked him about life support, he said heck no. I’m ready to see Jesus and get to heaven. My work on Earth is done. Dad passed a few days later.
This was a tough time for all of us, but we’re at peace and we know that he’s better off and that we’ll be okay.
I learned, in real life, what I’ve been talking about all along. Family trumps work 100% of the time. We can always find another job, delay our work, but our time on Earth is short, and family matters the most. Leaving a legacy is more than just doing good work, or having a good job. Its about making life better for the generations that come after you. Billy Graham said it the best when he said,
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
The 2 things I want you to get out of this episode, is that I’m back and hopefully will be sharing on a more regular basis now, and that life is more than just great work. Leadership is more than just leading at work, its about leading at home, with your friends and family, and leaving a legacy.
Focus more on leaving a great legacy, rather than building a great resume.
So how do you build a legacy? Its about impacting people, not projects. “Begin by with the end in mind.” – Steven Covey. Imagine your funeral. Who will come? Does it matter if they come? Who will be glad they met you? Who’s life have you directly impacted? I’m not 100% sure how to build a great legacy, but I can tell you what I’m doing. First, thinking about the people that matter most to me, and making sure that I’m investing into them.
I’m paying attention to where my “FATE (Focus, Assets, Time, & Energy)” is going. I find myself asking, is this the best use of my time more often than I did before. The next thing I’m looking into is my scope of impact. How can I grow those in my network, my reach, the people I can impact? What does that look like? What do I have to give up to build a legacy? What legacy do I want to leave? And lastly, how can live my legacy right now. In order to leave a legacy, you have to live it. Think about how you want to be remembered, and start living that way today. I want to hear what your legacy is. Leave me a message on twitter @johnrouda with what you want your legacy to be.
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