One thing I am glad that my parents taught me growing up (and my wife’s parents taught her as well) is “Leave things better than you found them.” Now when I was younger this usually meant not trashing my friend’s house when I was over to play. This graduated, when I was a little older and babysitting, to “do the dishes before you leave.”
This is a truly great lesson for a child, because it translates into much better adults.
Unfortunately we recently had an experience where we had someone else living in one of our properties. Needless to say, they had not been taught this lesson. And in the moment of discovery, of seeing the house, it’s extraordinarily frustrating. But it was a great teaching moment for our daughters. There it was, right before their eyes.
This is why we said what we said.
But I think it is really important to take this lesson into our communities as well. What are you doing to leave your company a better place? What are you doing to leave your community a better place? Your family?
This, my friends, is your legacy. Leave it better than you found it. That’s a worthy goal for all of us.