A special member of my team, Linda Lynch, lost her brother one year ago today. Michael Klein was too young, too healthy, too in love with his family, and too full of life to leave this earth when he did.
While Mike is terribly missed by many, he leaves a legacy that affects complete strangers. Out of the tragedy of his untimely death, there is an abundance of lessons we can all learn—good things can rise.
Mike was an avid reader and writer throughout his life. Yet, he didn’t write about the struggle toward the end of his life. Maybe he didn’t want to succumb to the possibility he may actually lose the fight against cancer.
Still he never gave into the negative. He focused on all the good life offers and the love that surrounded him through his wife and kids.
Mike left us a guide by which to live and lead. Mike’s positive energy doesn’t end with his life on this earth, his leadership legacy lives in all the lives he touched—his family, his loved ones, his co-workers, and now with total strangers he never even met.
I know from working with and getting to spend time with Linda, that she takes a lot of strength from her brother’s example, she looked up to him, and still looks up to him. She radiates passion every time she talks about Mike’s positive presence.
For those of you rushing to catch the next plane, agonizing over the next meeting, staying late yet another night while the family waits at home for your arrival, remember Mike’s message. Live every day like it matters—because it does.
Thank you Mike for sharing part of your family with me and my team. And for leaving us all with incredible words to live by.
This is legacy leadership at its finest.
Dream Big - All of our great work starts with an individual, or a group of folks, thinking big thoughts and not believing that all the best work has already been done.
Keep Learning - Never stop your search for knowledge. By reading voraciously and speaking to diverse cross sections of people, we learn to connect with more folks on more levels.
Everyone Has a Talent - Success comes from focusing on your people and encouraging them to shine. Help people, especially young ones, find their talent—what a privilege.
Be Direct - In this electronic world, it’s easy for us to avoid direct discussion with people, especially when the messages are tough to deliver. Have the courage to look someone in the eye and share your thoughts, positive or negative—it helps us as people to connect and build deep, enduring relationships.
Compete - In sports, business, and life, challenge yourself against the best to keep growing.
Be Generous with Your Time - Whether you’re talking to the CEO or the newest hire, the housekeeper or your daughter, give of yourself with no expectation of repayment.
Believe in More - No matter your faith or tradition, believe in more than yourself and act daily in a way that is a display of that faith.
P.S. For more ideas on how to build a lasting leadership legacy, get a free copy of my leadership ebook: Is CEO Disease Crippling Your Company? How to Diagnose and Treat It Before It's Too Late.