Being there…

Throughout your life or career, have you noticed that some people are just…there…and you feel better for it?

Shortly after starting a new IT leadership position, more than 30 years ago, one of my skeptical employees had a serious crash and recovery of one of her mission critical applications. I hung out with her over the next 36 hours or so, just being there and helping, if asked, and we have been very close friends since.

Attended the funeral for a valued employee’s immediate family? Visited an employee in the hospital? Offered them a ride if their car isn’t working? Give them time off when they NEED the time to address a serious personal issue, or celebrate a significant family event?

Just being there is important. It’s noticed. It’s appreciated.

In my current Project Management role, I hung out with our systems engineers and others while troubleshooting a performance issue. It went into the evening. I gathered my things and returned to say good-night and say thanks, and the reply was “Thank you. We don’t normally get PMs who are willing to hang with us.”

It was worth the investment of a few hours. I learned some additional technical information, I bonded with a new band of brothers, and maybe earned some “cred” for when I need help down the road – personally or professionally.

Ever thought about your “legacy”?

Today, the warriors of the Denver Broncos face those of the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. One of the headlines reads, “Manning can cement his legacy”. Peyton Manning, at 37, is the owner of a highly respected and accomplished football career, which includes a Super Bowl victory in 2007.

At 37, and nearing the end of his storied career, Peyton is constantly being asked about his legacy. Peyton, known for his wit said, “I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. I’m not sure what the word even means.” Given some time to think about it, he finally responded to reporters with the following: “If I had my choice, what my legacy would be, would be that I played my butt off for every team that I ever played on, I was a really good teammate, and I did everything I could to win.”

How do you want to be remembered? What contributions did you make?

Personally, I want my legacy to reflect that I have always been a good person with respect to family, friends and community; hopefully, setting a good example for those following in my footsteps. Professionally, and in group situations, I want to be remembered for working my butt off for every team I ever played on, being a really good teammate, and doing everything I could to win.

Your “legacy” will live on in the hearts and minds of those you’ve touched in your lifetime. Thanks for the help, Peyton.

ps: The Denver Broncos lost the Super Bowl – badly. Many will continue to criticize Peyton Manning and his ability to win “the big one”, but I personally support Peyton’s character and accomplishment for getting to those important games.