Is your career is a bridge for building a legacy of positive impact?
Over the past week I’ve been extremely inspired by the launch of the iPromise school in Akron, OH!
According to ESPN, Lebron James has opened a state of the art public school in his hometown where 240 at-risk students can attend school and be given the opportunity to thrive despite difficult family and life situations. The idea of the school is modeled after Lebron’s early childhood where he missed much of fourth grade because of his living conditions.
And it isn’t just a school.
There’s a partnership with Akron University to provide free college tuition upon graduation and infrastructure to help the families of these students with everything from a daily food pantry for all meals to GED classes and job placement for parents and caregivers.
Known for his skills on the court, it’s quite clear that this husband, father and leader’s life is about more than basketball.
At the end of the day I believe that despite the company, role or tenure of my work, the success of a long career is made evident by the impact I make and legacy I leave in lifting others.
So here are a few questions Lebron James’ integrity, influence and impact have caused me to ask myself?
1. How do I leverage my career to make an impact on those around me?
Is my success only for me and my immediate family or do I seek ways to share my experiences so others can grow and become even better.
2. In what ways do I go beyond the immediate need to ensure sustainable impact?
The most amazing aspect of this school for me is the assistance provided to parents and caregivers. Lebron James and his team recognize that watering the roots will help to ensure the tree grows and bears fruit. Many times the key to sustained success is beyond the surface and requires getting at the core challenge so your efforts are amplified.
3. As my income increases, how am I increasing the impact I make on my community?
As income increases, so should my impact. The value from the work I do should directly correlate with the improvement in some area of another person’s life. How does my giving increase as I’m promoted within my organization.
4. How do I respond to criticism despite my best effort?
This isn’t a political post by any means, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the well-known criticism of Lebron James’ accomplishment in opening this school by our President. As a former athlete, I can attest to the discipline that is developed playing sports (particularly under a great coach). Lebron’s actions (or inaction since his response has been to focus on the school and students instead of the spectators) is a reminder of how important it is to have mental toughness and to remain poised under pressure. Sometimes the best response is no response at all.
So as we start our work weeks, let’s consider what specific actions are we taking to ensure the fruit from our careers plant positive seeds in the lives of others.
“This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams. Big dreams for the kids in Akron to give them everything they could need to find their passion, give back to our community and change the world!” – Lebron James