The ’70s is known to be the age of big hair, disco, bell-bottoms, rockstars, and hippie parties. But, on the other spectrum of life, this is the decade when people in their 40’s in the year 2021 were born. And this is the group of people who are now CEOs of different Companies, Presidents and Officers of Associations, veteran Actors and Actresses in the movie industry, and the age group of most Politicians and people in power all over the world.
And if you see a group of successful people who are currently doing something good in your city or society, you can’t help but wonder about how they were raised? What school did they come from? What level of education have they reached? And many other questions that have something to do with their youth. But the question often left unasked is who are the people responsible for what those young people have become?
We need to realize that the result is as important as the process. A good result often comes from a good process, and doing something bad will never result in anything good. This means either the parents, teachers, mentors, influencers, and circle of relationships of a great person make up his or her well-being. And those un-named and often unrecognized groups of people did something very good. They have left behind a legacy.
In the late 1800s, also known as the “Wild Wild West”, a dead person’s legacy is often inscribed and can be read on their markers and headstones. This is the family’s way of expressing their respect and endearment to their beloved who just passed away. A memorial of their legacy and the way his or her life was lived.
In a comedic way though, in the movie Back to the Future Part 3, as Doc Emet Brown (Christopher Lloyd) was accidentally brought by the time machine to the wild west, he gave stern instructions to Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) not to travel back to the 1800’s only to take him back to the year 1985. But, while
Marty stayed in the year 1955 he found the headstone of Doc Brown with the inscription “shot at the back for a matter of $80”. He found the cause of death of his friend, who is also a genius scientist, to be very odd compared to the legacy he should have left behind. This has fueled his willingness to go back in time to 1885 to save his friend from being killed only because of $80.
That image should also show how we should have the desire and willingness to make sure we do not mess up the legacy we will leave behind. We need to teach, mentor, and lead the young people of today to get them ready to take over in the future. After all, they will either be future leaders or the leaders that our own children will follow.
#1 Attract Them
Young people today are very visual. They are usually attracted by what they see, hear, feel, and even what they experience. Ever wonder why Korean Pop or what is known as “Kpop” has become a youth phenomenon? It’s because of the way they capture the hearts, minds, and imagination of young people. Their creative use of colors, costumes, make-up, outfit, and everything else in their music videos and their films regardless if their lyrics are understood or not, young people today are organically attracted to them.
And as parents, mentors, and leaders that are closest to them, we need to realize that we have a wide-open door to attract them. And it is not about wearing colorful outfits but it’s about bringing colors to their life. The simple gesture of making what matters to them also matters to us will also organically bring them closer to us. This leads to the second point.
#2 Influence Them
Once we attract them and win their hearts, it is only natural that we can influence them. When they know that we like what they like, it will only follow that they will be interested to also like what we like. And not to stop leaning to our own preferences in music, the arts and the likes, when they realize we are also interested in the music they listen to it is only a matter of time before they start asking about the things that we like.
And that can be the open door, so we can tell them about reading books, physical wellness, education, and things that we want to teach them. Things that will catapult them and prepare them for the future. If you are into business, you don’t need to shove business down the throats of your teenage kids. When you win their hearts and become a major influence in their lives you can talk about business, and they will listen. Before you know it, you are now at the same mental wavelength as your sons or daughter.
A good example is Co-Owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars Tony Khan, in an interview about his new venture of being Owner and President of a professional wrestling company All Elite Wrestling he is all praises for his father Shahid Khan. Shahid also owns the Jaguars and many other businesses. And when Tony was asked about the kind of relationship they have, all he answered was “It’s a great relationship. He is the best”. And Tony is one of the most successful young businessmen in America.
How about you? Do you want to leave a great legacy? If you are a parent, a teacher, a mentor, or a leader then you are now front and center of seeing the future rise up before your eyes. And you have the ability and the influence to make something good out of it.