Leaving a Legacy

01 Feb,2016

By Amith Prabhu


After a series of lists – first in December and then in January I’m back to the listless columns. I have got a lot of feedback on the columns that has lists because people enjoy reading lists. May be in March or April I will resort to another series of lists.


February is a special month for a variety of reasons. And over the next four weeks I will write about concepts dear to my heart both personally and professionally. This week, as the headline states is about leaving a legacy.


How many of us work to leave a legacy? How many of us aim to create lasting legacies? What is it about legacies that make them difficult to create? I try and meet at least 3-4 CEOs of Indian PR firms and an equal number of chief communications officers every month for one-on-one interactions. Each of these meetings is a learning session for me. Several of these individuals I meet are institutions in their own right and some of them have built companies that are moulded to look and feel like institutions. In January, I had separate meetings with two of the most powerful individuals in Indian PR consulting and the one thing that stands out every time I meet them is that they have built a legacy for future generations by sheer hard work, ample amount of determination and a clear vision. The same goes for communications directors. There are two individuals in different age groups who stand out for what they do at the conglomerates they work for and have created legacies that give the organisations a unique stature.


They made me ponder on what goes into building and leaving a legacy besides hard work, determination and vision. I think there is no magic sauce and to each his or her own. But there certainly are some ingredients that go into legacy building. I’m hopeful in the next five years before we reach 2020 we will see several men and women who leave behind a legacy in the world of communication consulting and corporate communications.


I was reading a special coffee table book brought out by Madan Bahal’s colleagues to commemorate his 60th birthday. I’m hoping next year Prema Sagar will bring out a book as the company she founded turns 25. These are individuals who came up the hard way who have built institutions and will leave legacies.


The purpose of this column is to send out a message to all professionals that while small battles have to be fought day in and day out the war is about creating something that you will be remembered for. And there are plenty of opportunities out there to work on. The question you will ask yourself on completing a milestone in your professional life is “What did I achieve that I will always be remembered for?” And the first step is to start today by asking yourself the question as to what do you want to do in the next 11 months that you want to be remembered for in 2016?


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