Legacy: The Impact We Leave Behind

Craig Glass

19 Posts Published


July 24, 2014


bowlenEvery 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?

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