Every man I know is building a legacy, a reputation and impact, that will follow him and touch others. Relatively few men think about what that legacy will be…and what qualities in him will form that legacy.
Yesterday, Pat Bowlen, the owner of the Denver Broncos football team, stepped down from over-seeing the team’s overall operations because of his growing struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He led one of the most consistently competitive and successful corporations in the American football world for three decades.
His most highly-regarded player ever, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who led the team to 2 Super Bowl victories and now serves as Executive VP of the team, and President Joe Ellis, Bowlen’s successor, made the following comments about Bowlen’s legacy.
A man thinking about his own legacy needs to stop for a moment and think, What qualities in Bowlen led to that kind of tribute from his successors? Was he:
• Ruthlessly controlling?
• Concerned primarily with his own status?
• Insensitive to the well-being and needs of others?
• Primarily a taker rather than a giver?
I don’t know the man, and I’ve hardly read anything that describes the quality of his character. But I do know this: it takes a man to tell a man he’s a man. The words and emotions of his friends and co-workers say far more about the quality of a man’s character than newspaper articles do.
When we see the emotions and hear the words of these men about this man, we know: he lived his life on behalf of others.
What legacy do we want to leave behind us, and what decisions will we make today to build that legacy?
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.