In the foreword to the book, Take Charge of Your Talent, by Don Maruska and Jay Perry, bestselling author, Jim Kouzes shared a quote that triggered a memorable conversation I had with a prominent entrepreneur turned philanthropist – whom I’ll keep anonymous. In early 2000 – ‘What we have done for ourselves dies with us. What we have done for others remains, and is immortal.’ That certainly speaks to the importance of legacy and a critical insight that I had gained from my friend whom I had known for ten years, when he reminded me that a leader’s legacy is determined at the beginning of his leadership or entrepreneurial journey, never the tail end.
He always stressed to me that a leader’s top priority is to get things started, yet his most important responsibility is to return to society, in the best way he knows how, the resources it has given him. My friend will be eighty-two years young this year, and I know no better individual that has inspired greatness in those around him than he has.
Being around him reinforced that you don’t have to be chairman of a Fortune 500 company to have an impact on the world; it starts by first committing to Take Charge of Your Talent. Maruska and Perry outline the three keys that ignites your path.