These 5 TRAITS OF BECOMING A LEGACY LEADER could determine how will you be remembered.

Will you be a Hero, Heroin or Has-been?

This past week was a notable week of celebrating the lives of remarkable leaders in America who left a monumental imprint on the world of entertainment and politics. From the passing of the Queen of Soul music, Aretha Franklin, to the celebrated life of Neil Simon, one of the most popular and prolific playwrights and screenwriters of the second half of the 20th century to Robin Leach of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, to the war hero and statesman, John McCain, last week was indeed a monumental passing of the baton in so many ways.

But perhaps one you didn’t hear about was Sister Nirmala Joshi, the Indian nun who replaced Mother Teresa as head of the Missionaries of Charity, who also passed away this week. Indian politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi praised her work for the poor in the eastern city of Kolkata (aka Calcutta), India, where the charity is based.

Yes, this past week was certainly a remarkable week of remembrance in America as we celebrated the life of numerous world leaders for distinctly different reasons. So what makes the difference between getting to the end of your life as a hero or heroine and getting to the end of your life as nothing more than a has-been…forgotten and only vaguely missed?

Today, we are looking at how to end your life saying, “I’m glad I did”…as opposed to living a life of regret, thinking in your final days, “I wish I had.”


  1. Striving for Success = Work Hard…Grind…Pay the Price…Get ahead…. Brave the impossible…. Use your voice, your talents, your abilities to stir things up…..change your stars….put a fork in your family tree.  These are the common mindset quotes of someone searching for success. In our 20’s -30’s, for most individuals, their pursuit is to be considered a SUCCESS.  In this season of life, we work hard to make a name for ourselves and try to answer the question, “Who am I?” “What am I good at?”  “What makes me special?”  And we search for the honor and praise of others.
    Then, in our 40’s-50’s our attention moves from a longing for success to a search for significance.  This is usually when our kids are growing up and some are even having children of their own.  Our attention shifts to wanting to see THEM succeed and help others find their way to a best life.
  1. Beyond Success Lies Significance = It’s not about YOU — especially if you end your life and all they say is WOW…you’ve failed.  But if people look at you and see the struggle, the journey and the recipe, they will say, “If she can do it…I can do it”.  That is significance.  It’s duplication.  It’s leaving something behind for the next generation to build uponBut still, the most precious days are yet to come as in our 60’s and beyond, we live to do more than just see our kids succeed.  In this season,  we start thinking about how to leave a lasting legacy that will out-live our lifetime.
  2. The Golden Years of Legacy – Suddenly we awaken to realize it’s more than just our job, family, or even our career.  Our attention is shifted to, “How will I be remembered?”  “Will they remember me at all?”  “Beyond my own family, who will carry on what I worked my life to create?” Legacy demands strategy and the creation of networks bigger than you. Legacy is when the generations, decades after you die, choose to pick up your mantle and duplicate it for generations to come.

As we look at the lives of those ever-famous celebrities who passed this week, we see these five common traits.


  1. They worked hard for success, perfecting their talents and engineering a platform to be heard.
  2. They sacrificed often so they could inspire the significance of others and duplicate their work.
  3. They created networks, systems, laws, music, books, speeches and manuscripts that would be passed down throughout generations.
  4. They broke boundaries, traditions and molds to disrupt the status quo of their industry.
  5. The greatest legacy trait is not found in what we DO in our life, but WHO we become in the process.  This, more than anything, defines a legacy leader.  People will be more inspired by your life than your words or song.  This is where the sacrifice, hard work, integrity and ministry of your life leave the greatest imprint on the world.

President George W. Bush remembered John McCain on Saturday after the senator died at the age of eighty-one, saying, “Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

Wall Street Journal called John McCain a “principled leader.” CNN described him as a “War Hero. Statesman. Maverick, and one of the leading voices in American politics.”

Many have been prisoners of war and many have served the U.S. Senate, but what made John McCain a hero is one singular trait:  sacrificial courage to stand for his convictions in the midst of adversity.

Legacy lives beyond two generations and sustains past a century of impact.  Whether good or bad, a legacy is generational.  For good, it is a gift or inheritance passed down to future generations.  But if it is the legacy of a sin-wretched soul, it is a curse passed down throughout the years until one brave soul chooses to step up and break the cycle and shift the legacy of generations to come.


Here is the bottom line:  You will leave an imprint on this world.  The question Is, “What kind of imprint will you leave?”  Will you be remembered as a success who made a name for themselves and whose worth is summed up by the talent or possessions they personally obtained?”  Will yours be a life of significance that impacted others to dream, grow, and live beyond their mundane existence for something greater?

Or will you be a legacy leader that is never forgotten because you lived to outlast your lifetime.  Will you build a name for yourself or a legacy for others to sustain your work, your music, your passion or your inventions?

Jesus, the greatest legacy leader of all times, did not come to simply lead people to Himself.  Instead, He said, “All that I do is   to point to the Father.”  He wowed us with His abilities and grit.  He moved us with significant sacrifice.  But He left legacy by sending His Holy Spirit to empower US…. for generations upon generations to do what He did and love like He loved.

How will you live your life?  For success, significance or legacy?


About the Author Staci Wallace

As a highly sought-after speaker, thought leader, author, and expert in business psychology, Staci Wallace’s messages of uncompromising truth equip CEO's, influencers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the marketplace to launch and scale purpose-driven, highly profitable lives and businesses that leave a powerful impact on the world. With over 35 years in Executive Corporate Leadership and over 25 in global ministry, Staci's desire is to support Kingdom Entreprenuers with tools that equip leaders and send them to the four corners of the earth.  Her distinctions in business success have enabled her to share the stage with five U.S. Presidents and many other high profile leaders of this generation as well as to be a featured "Life & Business Coach" for such shows as KTHV's Morning Show, NBC, ABC, FOX and is the current co-host of the "Fueled By Fire Podcast" alongside her husband of 25 years, Larry Wallace.

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