Celebrating a life legacy
When I reviewed the definition of the word ‘legacy’ in the dictionary it was described as: “a gift or an inheritance that is handed down, endowed or conveyed from one person to another”. It is something descendible one comes into possession of, inherits or receives from a predecessor. What stands out for me is the fact that it is not necessarily desirable, practical or noteworthy. The word legacy does not indicate whether it is positive or negative – rather it is in the difference that is made wherein the true value is realised.
I don’t believe anyone sets out in life to leave a legacy. There is a unique set of circumstances that drives individuals to take charge and become a gamechanger, a difference–maker. Nelson Mandela left such a legacy and today, years later, we still reap the benefits of his sacrifices and humility.
Faced with the question of who I would like to have dinner with and why, I have often answered “Nelson Mandela”, as I would love to understand what the driving forces were in his life that propelled him to be so forgiving, humble and altruistic. Like Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr, reconciliation, respect for diversity and the importance of justice, equality and democracy are but a few critical aspects of being human that have inspired generations. They provided examples and blueprints – we just need to be willing to serve others.
In our business, we have strived every day for almost 10 years of our existence to make a difference. This philosophy is part of the foundational framework of Omni, applied to the communities in which staff, suppliers, learners and clients are based. It surprises me how many leaders don’t spend enough time thinking about legacy; what they will leave behind for the organisation and the people they serve – and make decisions today for future sustainability.
I am grateful for Madiba’s legacy that will have a sustainable impact on our futures.
Chief Executive Officer, Omni HR Consulting