, , ,

Never Too Early to Leave a Legacy

The last few months, I have been blessed to be a GovLoop Featured Contributor. I asked to be a part of this cadre because I retire August 31, 2021. My goal throughout my career is to help others; to be a part of folks’ development; to listen to concerns; to be a coach; to be a mentor; and most importantly – to be a friend.

This is my last GovLoop Featured Contributor post. First, let me say, “THANK YOU” for reading my posts. I hope they gave you something to consider in your leadership journey. Secondly, I want you to know I make myself available to you. If you want to reach out to me, don’t hesitate. My email is [email protected]. So you know, no one but me reads my email. Yes, you read that correctly. If folks email me, they deserve me (and only me) to read those messages.

So, as I prepare for my future retirement, things weigh on my mind. Think about it. I will retire 34 years to the day that I started working for the government. I can remember that day I interviewed … including my outfit and cute briefcase. Kenny Chesney’s song “Don’t Blink” is so true.

What does this mean to you? Leaving a legacy starts today.

No matter where you are in your career, stop and think.

How do you want to be remembered?

 There is no one right answer. There is only your answer.

I feel compelled to share my answer about leaving a legacy.

I truly believe, “Carve your name on hearts. Not Tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon L. Alder stated this.

Why do I do this?

I challenge the people with whom I work and mentor and coach to step up and help others. We all need to look back and pull or push others forward in order to be the best we can be. I ask each of you to close your eyes and think about the person who meant something to you. Was that your boss or the director of your organization? My guess, no. If it is, that is so cool. Emulate that.

It is so important to find what drives you and makes you feel fulfilled. We all have ambition. How do you align ambition with your life goals?

What does each day look like?

We all need to deliver business results. No question about that. But, business results are only one component.  How many of us stopped to see if we are driven by helping our team members?

How many of us have been recognized for our “employee engagement” efforts?

So, if you aren’t measured on that, how many of us focus on that? When was the last time you read a leadership book?

I can’t answer those questions for you. This is where I ask each and every one of you to do some soul searching.

How do you want to be remembered?

I have been thinking about this long and hard. I want folks to remember me for being fun and kind and helping others. Helping others means developing people and ensuring they succeed. That could be through coaching or mentoring or formal leadership development or just an informal relationship because someone chatted with me somewhere over my 34 years.

If you close your eyes, what do you remember about the top leader of your organization? What do you remember about the person who helped you achieve your dreams?

A legacy lasts beyond a lifetime.

Interested in becoming a Featured Contributor? Email topics you’re interested in covering for GovLoop to [email protected]. And to read more from our Winter 2021 Cohort, here is a full list of every Featured Contributor during this cohort.

Rebecca (Becky) Mack Johnson’s government career spans almost 34 years. She’s been an SES executive for over 15 years. Her leadership experiences range from business operations’ positions to the human capital side of the house. Becky’s passion centers around helping people grow and achieve their goals. Becky considers receiving the Treasury Department’s Leadership Legacy Award in 2017 as one of her greatest accomplishments. Becky believes continual learning is essential. To practice what she preaches, Becky completed her Masters Degree in Strategic Public Relations in her early 40s. She is also an International Coaching Federation ACC certified coach and a Project Management Professional.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply