I have to admit until a few months ago I had never asked the question. What do I want my customer legacy to be? frankly I didn't know what it meant to have one but reflecting more and more on it there was a slow and gradual revelation of the implications of this question that I'd like to share.
If you look up the word legacy it actually has a double negative. Legacy is actually referred to as something obsolete in technology terms. Something you have to deal with because its been there a while. Or something left to someone in a will an inheritance. One definition is based on dealing with someone else's mess and the other is conditional on someone else achievement in the future.
Its interesting to think of the word legacy as its been expanded to mean an impact that positively changes people and the world. In many ways we think of legacy as something that is in the future its something that will happen once we're gone or once we achieve something specific.
I believe legacy is a state of thinking and action that should be both as active in the present as the vision of it in the future.
Let me explain.
I have four kids.Three beautiful girls aged 8,5 and 2 and a good looking Son (like his dad :)) aged 10. Like most parents I want the absolute best for them and my wife and I are intentional about the impact we have on them today that will likely shape their ability to thrive and succeed later in life.
The legacy we want to leave isn't a hope for the future (we're not wishing our kids to be great and successful after we die). Its an active hope for today that informs the choices we make daily because what we really mean when we say legacy is that we want our actions today to impact the success, choices and experience others have tomorrow.
My definition of legacy is the active pursuit of positive change that impacts the present thoughts, actions and results of others but has the lasting influence to change generations.
If this is a definition you agree with, what does this mean for your customers? What is the legacy picture you have for your customers or what is the continued growing impact you want for your customers now and for the future?
If you've never done one for yourself, your family, customer or business. I'm going to show you a simple three step process for building a legacy picture that you can apply to your customers or life today.
- Draw three columns and write out the headings feelings (How they feel because of the actions you take e.g.safe, listened to, hopeful), Impact (What they now believe about themselves e.g. I have more clarity), and results (What is the change they experience and embrace e.g. my business is healthier, internal relationships are better). Here is where you get to go big with all the things you want to have your customer (yourself/family/business) experience because of how you'll serve them.
- Once you've written those words on the page you need to start the process of creating a legacy statement. This is not a vision statement as a legacy statement is much wider than this because you're looking at the whole person experience of feelings, impact and results. Choose 2-3 words and statements from each column that most resonate with you.
- You'll now have to use those words to create a series of mini sentences for each column. E.g Feeling: I want my business to be a place where my customers feel continually supported, feel secure enough to be honest and confident about the future. Impact: Our customers will come to us saying they have greater clarity of the future and this will change the relationships they have with their employees and customers. Results: Former leaders and employees from our customers will take their experience into other companies and let others know about the changes made and their presence will impact the results of their new company.
Simple exercise but is very powerful. Give it a go and I'd love to connect with those who believe in legacy.
If like me you're someone who cares deeply about serving at the highest level, you're responsible for the success, growth and relationships with key customers then lets talk. I want to help you achieve those growth and relationship goals that truly produce business changing results. Get connected to my customer growth email series HERE. You can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth. www.jermaineedwards.com
Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.