Concept of immortality doesn’t take away our desire to leave a legacy behind. Apart from our good – bad memories etched in the minds and hearts of people still living, we leave behind our children, our ideas, our businesses, our physical / artistic creations.
What should we give to our children as a true legacy? What should we give to our society, our organisations as a memento of ours which they can’t dump in the backyard of their minds, never to retrieve?
Mark Zuckerberg, as a new parent, gave away 99% of his Facebook shares, worth $45 billion to philanthropy and wrote a letter to the newborn (actually to all of us), “Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world”
Though the detractors are calling it a tax adjustment move, I appreciate the action as a parent and as a leader.
The narrow approach of Indian parents to accumulate more and more for their own children has made us self centric, oblivious to our own surroundings. If we could give a problem solving attitude to our kids and encourage them to believe in their unlimited competency to solve any world problem, it would be far more valuable than amassing unlimited wealth for them which would render them unproductive and prone to family feuds.
The attitude of gratitude embedded in our organizational culture can create a cohesive society where social responsibility of business would not be a compulsion but an emotion.
The phenomenal work being done by Azim Premji Foundation or the village transformation being brought by Vineet Nayar’s Sampark Foundation will leave behind a better legacy than the profit and loss account of their respective organisations.
A business house in Rajasthan runs a specialty hospital in their village. The owner of this group told me that his mother always wishes him good luck for the hospital. “May your hospital flourishes and you make a chain of these village hospitals” is her favorite blessing, he says.
The wellbeing of business is inherent in this blessing. What better footprints can be left on the sand of time?