In 3,000 BC, Dubai was just a desert with nomadic cattle herders. In 1833, some 800 members of a certain tribe settled at the mouth of a natural harbor creek. They made it a center for fishing, pearling and sea trade. It became a leading re-export port in the 1950s.
Dubai discovered oil in 1966 and this was their game changer! Their leader used the oil revenues to spur infrastructure development in a frenetic pace – schools, hospitals, telecommunications networks, roads, metro train, world class airport and a man-made harbor to name a few.
Today, Dubai is a famous tourist destination with breathtaking sights, like the The Burj Al Arab – the world’s third tallest and only 7-star hotel; The Palm islands – two artificial islands reclaimed from the sea, adding 520km of non-public beaches; The Burj Khalifa – the tallest artificial structure in the world with a whopping 163 floors!
What was once a desert over 5,000 years ago is now a modern business center and vibrant tourist destination that delivers experiences beyond your wildest dreams! This is the power of visionary leadership – leaving a lasting legacy for generations after you.
Leaving a lasting legacy is about knowing your purpose, clarifying your vision and executing your mission.
Know your purpose
What on earth are you hear for? Why do you exist? An iron box is created to smoothen creases, a hammer to pound nails, a needle to make clothes – what about you? What is your purpose?
You must know why you exist. Your purpose is not necessarily for your benefit, but it is designed for others to enjoy. You are here to make a difference in someone’s life – to make a positive change in humanity.
If you truly do not know why you are here, then nothing else I say after this will mean anything. Ask yourself why you exist and remember, if your absence does not make a difference, then your presence is not necessary!
Clarify your vision
What vision do you hold for your purpose? Helen Keller, a celebrated deaf and blind author said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight without a vision”.
Everything you see around you today – clothes, cars, buildings, phones, planes, gardens – were once just an idea. Each building was an intangible image in someone’s mind. They shared their idea with an architect. The architect translated that vision into a blueprint and the construction team brought it to life.
A clear vision determines how well you fulfill your purpose. It is not enough to have big dreams, you need to clearly communicate your dream to your destiny helpers. A vision is given to one person, but you need others to accomplish it. Clarify your vision to others.
Execute your mission
You know your purpose and your vision is clear. That is the easier part. The real work is in executing your mission. Your mission begins when you put down a plan on how you will achieve that vision. Do you have an execution plan? What are you going to do in the next 3 months, 6 months and 1 year towards achieving your vision?
Your plan defines your mission milestones. It identifies who needs to be involved in each phase and the resources you will require. It guides you on your journey to fulfilling your purpose. As you go along this journey, you have to keep evaluating your progress. The evaluation helps you to see whether you are on track, what changes you need to make or whether there are things you had overlooked that you need to address.
Your purpose will not change. Your vision may expand and the parameters to bring the vision to reality change with time. The mission plan is therefore a living document. You have to modify your plan as you go along, but the important thing is to have that plan. Your mission must be executed with a plan. The only caution – do not let it gather dust on the shelf!
How well you execute your mission defines the legacy you shall leave behind. When the mission is birthed from a daring vision and aligned to your life purpose you are sure to leave a lasting legacy.
Remember, if you want to leave a lasting legacy, these three things are essential – Know your purpose, clarify your vision and execute your mission.
Gakii is a vibrant risk and quality management practitioner in a professional services firm. She is committed to continuous performance improvement and driving organizational efficiency. She is passionate about her life purpose – developing young leaders and economically empowering women in Africa. She believes Africa needs better leaders to steer the continent into a developed economy. She envisions an Africa with focused leaders and women strengthened to be the backbone of its development and growth.