Leading, Living Life Well, and Your Legacy

A dear friend and colleague of mine passed away at the end of last month.  I know the date because she had intended to let her clients know of her rapidly declining health in her next newsletter. Corrie (far right) sent her newsletter without fail on the 1st of every month – not the 2nd, not the 3rd, not the 30th of the prior month. Whether it was a Monday or a Friday or a Sunday, she wrote on the 1st of the month without fail. She died on the 31st.

I am not about to write another eulogy. There has been plenty written by folks far more eloquent than I, but I do want to honor her memory by living as she did – with passion and commitment. Corrie knew what her values were and lived them. She packed in an extraordinary amount of living in the all too short life she had. And she continued to live life to the fullest until the very end.

Corrie was a superb professional dedicated to the well-being of her clients. She was a devoted parent, a powerful champion for her son. She was a sterling friend, always up for fun and the next adventure. And she gave freely of herself to people and causes she believed in – quietly without fanfare. Leadership came naturally to her. A colleague of mine thanked her for “all you gave without knowing you were giving.”

There is a lot there I could emulate. So it may seem trivial for me to select writing a newsletter on the first of the month as the one I have chosen. But it is not trivial for me. I have wanted to write regularly for a long time. In fact, it scares me to commit this in writing because I’ve made resolutions before and not kept them. This time though I have the power of my memory of her spirit and commitment that I want to honor.

It’s not about writing or writing on a certain day or doing all the running she did. (Did I mention she ran marathons?) It’s about knowing what’s important to us – professionally and personally  – and living those values that leads to a well lived life and a legacy. I will channel Corrie’s spirit and reliably show up to do what is important. If not now, when?

It’s easy to get so caught in the day to day running and being run by things that we don’t step back to ask ourselves if we are leading, living life well, and leaving a legacy we can be proud of. Corrie seemed to have done that. If you want to talk to someone who has these conversations with fine leaders every day, I’d be happy to chat – I can be reached at joanne.irving@i2aa.com or (301) 943-3074 .

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