Leaving a Legacy

In tribute to the recent trade of Derek Fisher from the Lakers, his impact went far beyond the court. Here are some lessons to learn from his example that you can apply to your career/life:

Be “Clutch.” When the pressure is on, whatever is inside of you comes out. The preparation you put in helps pass the tests life gives you. Nobody keeps you accountable for what you do on your own time, but when it’s time to perform you are judged. This is where your mental toughness shows. Your ability to cope and deal with stress increases through practice (similar to public speaking). Do the necessary work ahead of time so when opportunity arises, you’re ready.

Be about Winning. (No, not Charlie Sheen-like) You don’t have to be the most talented or smartest, but you need to know how to make your organization better. Sometimes that means stepping up. Sometimes it means doing behind the scenes work. If you’re willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, you’re a winner. It’s not about you, but what value you bring to the greater team. Winning is about performing, but it’s also about knowing your role and working well with others.
Be About Character. People are hired for skills and experience, but fired for character flaws. It’s not all about performance…so what do others say about you? Are you trustworthy? Dependable? You communicate more through your actions than your words. It’s about showing over telling. Integrity goes a long way in people’s eyes. Based on your actions, how do you want people to remember you?

Derek Fisher’s abilities diminished over the past couple of years, but if you listen to his impact on his teammates, he has their utmost respect. His presence will be missed in team huddles, road trips and the locker room. When he spoke, people listened. When it comes to your career don’t just do your job, strive to leave a legacy. In the end, that’s what matters.

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