Before Leaving A Legacy, Find Your Own Voice

Your X factor, knowledge, and passion will get you on that path … and more 

What do you want to be remembered for? And how will you move forward in your career? 

These were some of the many gems that Margaret Whelan spoke about during her Leaving a Legacy keynote at our Housing Innovation Summit last month. She should know. She’s worked tirelessly to coach and train those wanting to learn more about how to do their jobs better, improve communication skills, and how to take a place at the table (literally). But, as she would tell you, she’s just as much a student of those around her, learning more and being inspired by the leadership of others every day.

So, how do you discover your purpose? Where do you start? How do you figure out what’s working for you or not?

First, discover what you’re really passionate about and good at—that’s where you’re going to get to your X factor.

What follows is your expertise, the ability to anticipate what’s around the corner, how to do well for your clients, protect your business, and also your profitability. 

But then, Margaret went even deeper to include diversity (in an industry that’s not known for it) and mental health – two key components that need to be included in your legacy journey. Her point: we need more diverse voices, thoughts, and leaders in our industry.

For those of you who may be tired of hearing this under DEI (or any other banner), it is true, and it needs to be said. It’s not just a woke thing – it makes good business sense, as most of the ESG principles do. (That’s a topic for a later date. 😉)

When Margaret, an immigrant herself, started her career on Wall Street and in construction no less, she heard the sexist comments and the jokes, while watching her male co-workers get ahead. That didn’t prevent her from pushing through.

She’s very optimistic about the next generation, from the fact that they (you?) have access to so much more information than she did early in her career.  Now a company can be researched, from the demographic makeup of their board to whether or not they’re really going to be open to young people, to people of color, to immigrants.

Another massive, positive change she’s seen is more focus on mental health versus physical health. Yes, train your body but also train your mind, whether that’s improving your professional skill set or your mental health. Rest or relax. Some of her biggest lightbulb moments clicked on when she was resting, or well rested or doing something relaxing like sailing. Don’t have access to a sailboat? Go take a walk! 

I really encourage you to watch Margaret’s keynote. Andrea Finger and Cory Boydston, a co-founder of the Women’s Housing Leadership Group, also share insights from their careers.

If podcasts are more your thing, you can listen to an interview we recorded with Margaret earlier in the year, where she touched on similar topics. Listen here. 

How are you mentoring your staff so they can excel at what they do and set them up to leave their own legacy?

Find the original article on LinkedIn.