Episode 217 – Be a Light; Leave a Legacy

Steve Shallenberger: To all of our Becoming Your Best listeners and those that are getting ready to just crush it this year and into the new decade, it’s always nice to have some really great tools to help lead you through that, and the Becoming Your Best Planner is ready to go, if you don’t have one already. It’ll help lead you through with your vision, setting clearly actionable goals in the different areas of your life, which will help bring balance. It’s a process that helps you stay focused, day in and day out, on the things that matter most, while still bringing balance and vitality. So, if you don’t have one yet, you can just go to To get 25% off on your planner, just put in the promo code “20planner25”. And here is to a fabulous new year!   


Welcome to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners, wherever you may be in the world today! This is Steve Shallenberger – your host with Becoming Your Best – and I am so excited to be together with you. Thank you for tuning in! Today, the subject is, “Be a Light and Leave a Legacy”. I love the symbol of the lighthouse! The symbol itself is wonderful – it’s a steady and grounded structure that guides people to safety. Lighthouses symbolize a way forward and a source of guidance for all who needed them out at sea. And although it could have become a relic of a bygone era, instead, the simple lighthouse continues to represent strength, guidance, and hope.  


And that is exactly what we can do to help other people – is to be the light. And it’s interesting because if you think about that wonderful lighthouse, it doesn’t just sit there; it comes in a time of storm as well. And so, the lighthouse keeper stokes up the fire and ensures that the light is burning bright, even in the middle of adversity and storm. And this is what gives people hope, guidance, strength, and a way forward. Well, so what can you do to be a light, and certainly leave a legacy? How can you help others become their best? There’s two sides to this subject today. The first one is, what can you do? And the second is, what can you encourage others to do? And this has such a huge intergenerational impact because it blesses everybody involved.  


So the first thing that you can do is just be a model of living Becoming Your Best. We know, from 40 years of research, that the 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders are rock solid; they’re just as powerful as any physical principle, like the law of gravity. And the predictable outcome is 100% – it’s predictable every time – and you’ll see this as we talk about it. Collectively, these principles come together to produce remarkable excellence and outcome.  


And so, first of all, the best way to help another and to be this light is to model living it – master working on the Principles of Becoming Your Best. Think of each one. Honesty – Be True to Character – and as you do that, it literally creates a moral authority of trust; people can learn to trust you. How about when you have a Vision and set an inspiring personal vision or an organizational vision and how that leads people? These are all things that you do in modeling and living the Principles of Becoming Your Best. Setting your Annual Goals by roles – this is huge because you’re focusing on your various roles, including professional, including being a parent or a mentor or a coach of others. And that’s really what part of the lighthouse concept is: it’s being a coach – which is another great symbol of helping others, of coaching and encouraging, providing a playbook that works. How about Pre-week Planning – when you do, consistently, pre-week planning, you have focus, and direction, and confidence, and less stress, and can execute on the things that matter most. So, these are examples, and as you master them, the impact that it has in your own life, and you receive the benefit, but it also becomes, then, a powerful light for others.  


Just think about Living the Golden Rule – how we treat others; listening – when you listen, this is a sheer leadership capacity, skill, and mindset. And when you do this, and really listen and understand others, it opens an entire new world and teaches others how to do this. In our experience – and we’ve gone all over the world – this is one of the toughest ones to practice. We’ve shared recently that the way to form a new habit is to do something 63 to 65 times, and so, just practicing, purely listening and looking at the impact is pretty significant. So, these are good examples. And then, creating an environment where you can Innovate through Imagination. These are the examples, the things that happen as you model living the Principles of Becoming Your Best.  


And then, this little quote: “Don’t tell me what you do, just show me what you do, and then I’ll believe you” is so true. We know we can blow it and make mistakes, but this is, remember, Principle #12 – we Never Give Up, we keep getting back up on the horse, getting back into the game. And that is really where this is all one. And so, the glory is not in the falling, the glory is in getting back up and trying over and over again, the 63 to 65 times, and one day we’re better. This is exactly what happens. As we do these things, it creates a powerful light.  


So, what are some things that you can specifically do that helps you master the Principles of Becoming Your Best? And you can feel this growing within yourself, and the confidence, and the direction, and the rightness of these things. So, here are seven things that you can do: You can read and re-read Becoming Your Best – re-read it once a year. I’m going through it right now, as I exercise. Of course, I’ve read it, but I’m going through the audible now, for the second or third time, and I am just amazed! Every single chapter I listen to is so powerful, so grounded, and I assure you, once again, this is definitely not about me, it’s not about us. The power is in the principles. They are timeless, they are universal, and they will keep producing the same type of wonderful, extraordinary benefit in our lives. So, that’s one thing that you can do. What I found is I will listen to a chapter and see such a great application for me, then I’ll actually get the book out and go into maybe a specific part of it.  


Number two is that you can subscribe – free of charge, of course, through Becoming Your Best, just write to us – for the weekly principle and the daily inspirational thought, motivational thought. These are great! Essentially, what they are, is a principle a week. We just work on a principle a week, and you’ll receive in your email the principle, an inspirational story that reminds us of an example of it, and ways to apply it that week.  


Number three is to be sure that you have your own personal vision written out. It’s vibrant, it’s meaningful, inspiring, and it’s in place. We really only do this once in life, and then you may make tweaks but the basic core of it remains about the same. We keep having new insights, which is great. This is the way life is intended, but it will be this beacon for us out there. It, in itself, is a lighthouse to us. 


Number four is to have your goals for this year, in place. Your goals are SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-related. These are proven to change behavior. As we do them by roles, they’re far more effective because then, it helps us lead a more balanced life.  


Number five is to do pre-week planning. Oh my goodness! This is a new habit, isn’t it? And for some of you, you already have it well-established; you have your Becoming Your Best Planner, you can do this yourself – it’s already designed to lead you through this. These are such small investments, really, and have such a gigantic impact on life! And if you’re struggling – which is not unusual – to form this habit, just keep this in mind: 63 to 65 times, saying, “I’m going to do this once a week, during the weekend.” Just follow the simple steps on the weekly view. If you use an electronic planner, or a calendar, whatever it might be, once you’ve done this process, then you can just enter the dates into your electronic calendar and you still, then, have the benefit of the leadership first, and then the management focus – how do I do it well? All of these things will have a wonderful impact for good in your life and in your business.  


Just remember this, number six – essentially, all of these, take 1% of your time and deeply impact the other 99%. And here’s the last one, number seven, is share your annual goals with a number of people that you trust. This creates accountability, bonding, and really, you grow together with other people. So, these are some seven significant things that you can do. Keep in mind, anyhow, that are helpful. They will be transformational and serve you throughout your life. These principles and practices will be as a lifeline, and, as we said, the lighthouse for you, that brings peace and happiness, direction, confidence, focus, and greater longevity and health – all these things are the byproducts.  


Let’s shift gears now, on the other side. So, one way to be a light and to leave a legacy is to model these, live these, master them yourself. I love the Spanish word for this: “dominarlos“. It essentially just means I’m going to work at it until I got it. It means to dominate them. You just pound these Principles into your life and you get them. But that’s a great way to look at it! And once you’ve done that, now, what can we do and why we’re doing that? Because it’s an ongoing process. For me, I know it’s taken years and I’m still working on them, of course! And I will, for the rest of my life. But then, what can we do to help and bless others? So, how can you directly lift, inspire, and build others’ lives? And we’re talking about children and grandchildren, family members, employees, friends, and associates, to bring out and cultivate the best in others.  


Really, this is a bit like parenting because we want it to be sustainable over time, deliberate. It requires, sometimes, patience that will produce, really, a lifetime of fruit. So, what are some specific things that you might do? And I know that, as I share some of these items, that you’ll come up with your own, and I’d love to hear about them, by the way. So, if you think of it, share it with me. So, here’s number one – and I think I came up with another seven things that you could do for others. One, is that you could give them the Becoming Your Best book or the audible as a gift, or your firm can invest in them and give them to all of your team; invite them to do a book report, to teach you, to teach others in their own words, as they internalize these things – and this is, literally, this teacher-learner-teacher model: the one who learns most is the one who’s going to teach somebody else. So, this is really powerful because then, everybody gains.  


Number two, you may consider giving them an incentive, depending on who they are. I see this in business all the time, but I certainly did this as a parent. I’d give our children a book and say, “Okay, $50 for reading this book, and all you have to do is give me a book report. Tell me what you learned!” It was a very cheap investment, if you will, because it’s something that they kept and now I’ve noticed, as their children are growing, that they do something very similar. But it’s a great way, it makes it fun. This is what we want to do in our learning and growing – is have fun learning and growing.  


Number three is that you can give them a principle a week and the daily thoughts. These things really make a difference. I love this idea that we talked about earlier in the podcast – part of being a light, part of being the lighthouse is, you’re coaching them; you’re being a coach. They’ve got to run the plays. You can help inspire and motivate them, but they’ve got to do it, of course. And the best way to help others is to help them get these principles within their hearts and their minds, and, as you provide them with the playbook, they’re going to run the plays, they’re going to get it, and there’s going to be a lot of things happening in life, but you’re giving them the tools, among some of the most valuable things they can ever have.  


Number four is, teach them how to write and share their SMART goals and roles, particularly their annual goals because this will give them the tools and they’ll learn how to not only fish, but you’re going to teach them how to feed themselves for a lifetime. You’re not just giving them the fish. You can teach them, for example, this very powerful research that one is 90% more likely to accomplish something with clearly written goals. And yet, only 10% of people have clearly written goals. Well, this is definitely being the coach, right? And this is showing them how to do it, and then, as they do it, they’ll have this habit, if you will, for the rest of their lives.  


Number five is you could – depending on where they are in your life or the relationship you have with them, whether it’s an employee and you’re investing in them or a child, a spouse even, a significant other – send them to a two-day Breakthrough Leadership Conference from Becoming Your Best. These are extremely powerful and life-changing because it gives you a heavy dose of the principles and allows you to practice them, and then go back, and you keep working on them. Oh my goodness! For those that attend that, it is life-changing. And we’re certainly worth the investment by far.  


Number six is you can become a Becoming Your Best certified trainer. Well, this directly gives you the capacity to deeply train each of these principles in a formal way. And we have seen this take place with parents, with team leaders, executives of entire organizations, of course, the Human Resource people – this is part of what they do professionally – or as a coach of other people. This is very helpful!  


Recently, we were developing more firmly and have developed a Becoming Your Best Return on Investment calculator. This is a fun tool because it’s all focused on the variables of the things that we can influence through these principles – it increases performance and it increases productivity. Each of these has a lasting and cumulative benefit. But, of course, doing this requires an investment, right? So, the investment as a certified trainer is modest, and plus, the participant kit for each individual, whether it’s family or your team or organization, or whether you’re coaching somebody – the investment is modest, but the benefit is 10X all the way, both individually and for the team. And you can actually do this calculation yourself. You can say, “Okay, if my family member or my team member or an employee does this – for example, be true to character: he’s honest – here is the impact on performance.” And you can estimate a value, “Here is the impact on productivity.” And we look around and look at the terrible cost of dishonesty and cheating, and we see it, unfortunately, every single day. To not do that, actually has a tremendous benefit. Well, you can estimate that. Or how about if someone has a clear vision, their own vision, and they lead with the vision? What impact does that have on them and on the team itself?  So, you can estimate whatever that might be. 


Right through to the 12 Principles, Rob is saying, “There’s got to be a way to simplify this!” And I’m sure there is. I admire his creative thinking on this. But, I had a friend one time – he’s a senior executive for a large corporation – and he said, “We spend so much time looking for that single silver bullet of leadership. There’s not a single silver bullet.” This is after reading Becoming Your Best. He said, “It’s really a number of things we do, that come together, that create this chemistry of excellence.” And he is so spot-on in this. That’s why this is a good tool. If you would like a copy and would like to actually have this worksheet – the Becoming Your Best ROI calculator: it’s a fun document, and we’d be happy to send that to you – just write to us at  


Number seven is where appropriate, use the relationship agreement. This is found in Becoming Your Best, in the chapters on accountability, and shows you how to set up a relationship agreement. But this is an agreement between the organization and the employee or associate or between the parent and the child, whatever it might be. It’s a wonderful document, because it identifies first, the vision of what are we trying to do together, and here’s the reward system or whatever it might be, and then, the guidelines and the no-noes – things we don’t do – and then, ultimately, the accountability. If you have a child or somebody in your life that comes to you and says, “I want to go on this humanitarian project in Central America”, rather than saying “No”, pull out the relationship agreement – both of you have needs and interest, and it deserves a careful look. The same thing in business. If you bring on or have an executive or a key person, and you want to unleash their very best in alignment with where the organization is going, this relationship agreement is so powerful!  


These are tools and things that you can use that helps people become their best, that serves as the lighthouse. To do these things blesses your life enormously. Throughout the whole life, it also provides blessings for others. It’s like the pebble in the water. The ripples just go out and out, and the full impact of the good that you have done can never fully be counted or measured.  


Recently, in our seminars, I’ve been using the example of the apple. I’d bring an apple and hold it in my hand, and ask those in attendance – all over the world – how many seeds are in this apple? And people will make their guess: 8, 2, 5, 6, whatever it might be. I say, “Okay, well, let’s find out!” I get a knife and I cut the apple in half, and we actually dig out the seeds and count them. And it’s usually two to five, somewhere in that range; it varies a little bit. Then, we know the answer, right? Then, I hold up a seed, and I ask, “How many apples are in this seed?” The answers are “thousands”, “countless”, “it can produce orchards”. And how true is that? Because, literally, what you are doing is planting this seed within your heart, within your mind, in yourself and others. And as you work on it together, you help it grow and the result is a legacy of wonderful, delicious fruit, is peace and happiness, increased balance in life, greater longevity and better health, and greater prosperity. These are such wonderful, powerful and stronger, better relationships! This is what impacts all! This is a priceless fruit, really. And it produces countless orchards of good, feeding others for generations to come.  


Well, I hope that you’ve got an idea or two from today, that this has been helpful for you, hopefully inspiring, and I know that it’s been helpful for me, and has also given me encouragement as I help to bring out the very best in others. This is Steve Shallenberger, with Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, wishing you a great day! 

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