Lessons from a Legacy – 2. Consider the Consequences

“Success is a journey, not a destination”

Exactly one year ago today, I awoke with the adrenaline pumping. I was going to be an Olympic Torch Bearer and my efforts would be beamed round the world. This was one consequence I never imagined when I founded the voluntary

A Fantastic Unforeseen COnsequence
A Fantastic Unforeseen Consequence

organisation; The Phoenix Legacy.

In this second article of a series on building a legacy, I hope that by sharing my learning, you can gain ideas to apply in your voluntary, business or personal projects.

Typically for me, when I first came up with the idea for the Legacy, I got caught up in the concept without considering the consequences. How easy it can be to get carried away by the passion for an idea, especially when it’s your own.

We deliver the Judgement Index, which assesses your capacity to make good judgement. My profile highlights that when reaching a decision, I consider the task, then the impact on people and finally (if at all!) the consequences. To make an effective judgement, you need to have a good balance in all three areas and this is something I am now working on. Do you know how well you make a judgement? Do you give enough consideration to the long term impact, people involved or the operation?

Before getting into any project, whether voluntary or commercial, I propose you challenge what the strategic consequences will be. Specifically:

  1. Why are you really doing it? What do you want to gain from this personally?
  2. What time can you commit? Whatever you budget, I recommend you multiply by 2 at least!
  3. How will you protect yourself from not getting sucked into giving more time?
  4. What is your exit strategy?
  5. What will be the financial implications – How will you finance this?
  6. How much can you afford to lose, financially, physically and mentally?
  7. What are the costs of lost opportunity to your business?
  8. What impact may it have on your relationships at work and home?
  9. Whose support do you need and how much will you get? (See lesson 1)
  10. What evidence is there to support what people are telling you?

I am sure there are other aspects to consider, but these were the main ones I should have thought through better at the start.  On the positive side, some of the fantastic unforeseen consequences, as well as being a Torch Bearer, were:

  • Meeting amazing inspirational people
  • My change in attitude to preparing for my later years
  • The learning along every step of the way
  • Developing a new series of courses, Mind Your Head, from the material gained
  • Raised profile through the media coverage and being a finalist in the Dorset Business Awards 2009
  • The satisfaction of being part of a team that has made a difference

If you are thinking of building a Legacy or undertaking a project, bring the best of your judgement to bear before you start and then enjoy the unexpected successes, large or small, along the way.

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