About a month ago I attended a funeral with my wife Jen. I didn’t know the man, but Jen did. He was the father of one of her friends. As I sat there and listened to people talk about this man’s life, I was in awe. Each person that spoke was very genuine and raved about how intentional and generous this man was with his time, money, and resources. You could hear the admiration for this man in their voices. He’d earned it. It was evident through their stories.
In that moment, I was struck by a great leadership lesson that funerals teach us all.
- Funerals are powerful because they naturally cause us to think about death and legacy.
- We all leave a legacy but few of us leave the legacy we want to.
- Great leaders make sure that their actions and where they spend their time match up to their highest priorities.
Here’s today’s game plan, a good exercise for us all to do:
Grab a piece of paper, and make two vertical columns. On the left side, write down what you want on your epitaph and for people to say at your funeral. On the right side, write down what would people would actually say at your funeral if you were to die today.
If you want to be really brave, ask your spouse, children, or close friends what they would say at your funeral.
Next, review both columns to see what matches up and what doesn’t. Celebrate the areas that match (and be proud of that – not everyone accomplishes this!). For the areas that don’t line up, create a plan to start making those areas a priority in your life and review them frequently so you stay on track.