What Will You Leave Behind?

On a business trip to New York, my wife Angela took photo’s of the tribute to Steve Jobs that was emerging at the Apple store. She was awestruck at the building memorial before her and of the sadness felt by those whom had gathered.

5th Ave New York

In the days following his passing there were many other Apple locations that became memorials for those that felt loss.  Photos like the one I have included here, coupled with the recent release of the eulogy his sister delivered have left me reflecting on the impact Steve Jobs had on so many people.

Steve Jobs was an organizational leader; he lead a community of people and developed communities through his work.  I must note that I am not trying to compare my personal life to that of Steve Jobs, nor am I holding my professional life up to his. Rather, what this has made me think about is the impact that he had on so many people.  It left me wondering, as an organizational leader what did he do that built a level of trust in his community of followers that endeared them so deeply to him?  This has led me to ask myself; as an educational leader, of my actions, which will have the greatest impact on the community I work with?

This question has led me down many paths to an answer.  I do not believe that there is any one answer for me.  In considering this, I do know that I will continue to consciously act with integrity. I will continue to focus on relationships and I will continue to reflect on each days’ events looking for ways to improve.  While I don’t believe these actions will lead to impromptu memorials at various schools in which I have worked, I do know there is a personal impact I hope to leave on each of those with whom I have worked. Perhaps one of the best tributes we can offer to someone of the likes of Steve Jobs, and in turn one of the gifts he has left for us all are moments of inward reflection that cause us to look inwardly upon who we have been, who we want to be, how we want to impact our environments, and how do we measure up at this moment in time?

Now I ask you, what impact will your actions leave behind?

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