Today I had a brilliant day out with Les, my wife and soul-mate, and our Balinese friend, Diano. Whenever we are in Bali, we hire him for the day to drive us to various places we’d like to see. Today was no exception. We visited the Royal Temple at Taman Ayun, the rice terraces at Jatih Luwih, which is a favourite of ours and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and watched the sunset at Tanah Lot and Kuta.
What made it special was the conversation we shared throughout the day. We talked about everything – children, families, communities, politics, traditions, culture, the world economy and its impact on the UK and Indonesia, our Royal Family, football and on and on. Diano is always delighted to see us, a tradition now in its third year, and always has questions and feels comfortable in asking them.
So I sat reflecting on my day tonight and felt that I am a privileged soul. Not just because I am here on holiday in Bali, but because I have some remarkable friends, Diano being one. We share common traits – vision, passion, authenticity and a willingness to speak up and speak out. For example, Diano has plans to become chief of his village in maybe nine or ten years’ time and he has some great ideas about what he would like to do then. It was fascinating listening to him talking so animatedly about this today.
My friends and I also share some core values, among them humility, respect and a drive for excellence through consistent incremental improvements. We believe in service with and for others. We believe in valuing people, first and foremost, and see this as the hallmark of any good leader.
We know that, from long experience, good leaders create more leaders.We know that continuous personal improvement is the key to creating more leaders. We know that people will rise to any challenge if they own, understand and have an opportunity to champion that challenge. We know that this change process will bring leaders to the fore, in often unexpected ways.
So, what has any of this to do with legacy? In a word – everything!
As Pericles said, “What you leave behind is not what’s on stone tablets, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Tonight’s reflection clarified this for me. I meet Diano for a short period of time each year and yet it is like we only met yesterday. It is extraordinary and energising. I share this in common with maybe fifteen or so people. That is why I am privileged and why I think this is about legacy – my own and the part I play in others.
How will you leave a legacy?