The Tracking Wonder #Quest2015 led by Jeffrey Davis has inspired key questions we need to consider deeply more frequently than just at the dawn of a new year. These are questions to be lived daily. Although there were three questions this past week, I will only focus on one. The question is from Seth Godin, and it is:
“Who would miss you if you were gone? If you didn’t show up to work, didn’t send out that newsletter, didn’t make that sales call, didn’t tweet that tweet… who would miss it? How does your answer shape how you’ll live out 2015?”
Who would miss me if I were gone? No one.
Stark yet a truth to be lived.
If I lived my life in a completely full way, then people wouldn’t miss me. They would pull work forward. If I lived in a way that a community was better because of what I wrote, said, and did, then others would continue and any gap would disappear quickly.
The Myth of Being Missed
Being missed may play too much into any person’s self-importance. We are replaceable but how we inspire others is transferable. How we live our life can be an influence on others. How we lead in our family life, workplace culture, and neighborhoods may create a foundation others will build upon and improve.
Think about it. There are people around you who make almost every decision, involved in every problem to be solved, and work cannot be done without their presence. Will this person be missed? The short answer is “yes” but not for good reasons. They will be missed because people will be uncertain on what to do next when they are gone.
The myth of being missed empowers certain leaders to dominate. The myth of being missed incents individuals to do things that backfire and create unfortunate stories to remember.
Live and Lead to Not Be Missed
Instead, we need to lead in a way to positively influence and enable the future. We need to live full in purpose so a mission carries forward across generations.
This answer shapes how I will live in the year ahead in the way I enjoin others in conversations and work, making a difference in what is exchanged and how problems are solved. I will live with humble strength and try to spend my time doing the most valuable things possible. I will build relationships with people who work well together and in purpose, knowing that what we leave behind is what others will enhance going forward.
Not being missed is a high standard in a way to live and lead. Not being missed is really what legacy is all about… isn’t it?
Join the Conversation
Live and Lead So Others Will Not Miss You
I really have to think about this one, Jon but it makes perfect sense. I too believe that our mission is not to be irreplaceable but rather inspirational as we empower others to believe in their gifts and truths.
When I think of the people I have met along the way I remember their hearts and the words that helped me grow and blossom. Perhaps we want to be remembered as someone who made an impact on someone else’s life.
Thanks Jon for a wonderful post! Happy 2015!
Terri, Thank you for adding your insights and voice into the conversation. I agree that we want to be remembered as someone who had a positive impact on another. Legacy sounds simple yet it is challenging to get right. Focusing more on how to transfer ideas and work may move us closer to leaving a solid legacy. Much better than trying to be indispensable while we are here.
All the best to you in the year ahead! Great things ahead! Jon
Great post Jon. I know I already commented on this in our Quest FB forum, however, something else came up for me on this one.
In another way, it aligns with what you are saying. I was thinking just today…my daughters have spent the last 10 years missing their daddy every day since he died. This is the KIND of missing that we DON’T want. The kind of missing that leaves too much unfinished business without closure. (as is often the case with untimely deaths)
We can’t CHANGE the past so this comment isn’t about shoulda, woulda, coulda…it’s more for any readers and for the present and future.
The idea that we live and lead in such a way that we aren’t missed in unhealthy ways. Missed in ways that keep the people we leave behind stuck…mentally, emotionally, or in dire straits otherwise.
Along similar lines, I’m reminded of the old saying about anger as well. Be angry but don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. Meaning, DEAL WITH THINGS before the sun goes down. Don’t put it off!
The only day any of us ever has is in the here and the now. In the day called TODAY. It should be our aim to leave nothing undone in ANY of our relationships before our head hits the pillow at night.
Then we won’t me ‘missed’ in the negative ways that take valuable life energy away from the people we leave behind.
Thanks for sharing Jon!
Great points all the way around, Samantha. It is about being fully present. It is about setting a good example. It is about resolving in timely ways. All these and more enable us to create a foundation for others to dance upon after we are gone. Thank you for your insights and experiences. Jon
Wonderful post, Jon, and so timely as we enter a new year. I believe that leaders develop other leaders, and it’s one of the things I cherish most as I see my former students and athletes leading in their personal and professional lives as adults. Thanks for your inspiring words!
Thank you, Jennifer. Seeing that spark going forward is very rewarding, and you set a great example in your work. Thanks for all you do, and all the best in the year ahead! Jon
Thought-provoking and powerful post, Jon. Thanks for a post that is filled with great content. Happy New Year!
Appreciate it, Joy. All the best to you in the new year ahead! Keep creating! Jon
Really powerful, Jon! Live and lead to not be missed. Many leaders I know would shake their heads in confusion at that statement. What a beautiful sentiment. When we grow, support, love, engage and encourage… we leave people stronger than when we came into their lives and hopefully, our leadership is a legacy of development and empowerment that ripples forward to new generations. I’m with you – irreplaceable isn’t something to strive for…
Alli, Thank you for your perspective and feedback. Being irreplaceable shouldn’t ever be a goal. At least, I cannot think of a reason for it to be. If we want to leave a legacy, then a beat shouldn’t be missed as everything we worked for continues forward, being improved and more. Thank you for your added insights and great work! Jon