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Legacy and your Kids, What is the fuss all about? Growing boys to men! In 5 Minutes or Less

Photos: A mom and her sons! Steffon Jr., Saffeon, and Savon Salter.

By Dr. Lisa M. Coffey

October 10, 2021

Key Words: leadership, legacy, empowerment, mentoring, family

Just a few weeks ago, all over Facebook were National Daughters Day and National Sons Day posts. I enjoyed reading every post and seeing all of the great photos, but let's focus on legacy building for those sons and daughters.


The law of legacy states, "A leader's lasting value is measured by succession" (Maxwell). The book, Becoming a Person of Influence by John C. Maxwell gives a list of action items that positively influence others' lives. I believe this list is necessary when building your legacy. The list reads as follows:

Becoming a person of influence involves:

  • Modeling integrity with everyone you come into contact with

  • Nurturing the people in your life to make them feel valued

  • Showing faith in others so that they believe in themselves

  • Listening to better build relationships

  • Understanding others so you can help them articulate and achieve their dreams

  • Enlarging others to increase their potential by sharing your knowledge, resources, and power

  • Navigating others through life's difficulties until they can do it alone

  • Connecting with them so that you can move them to a higher level

  • Empowering them to become the person they were created to be

  • Reproducing other leaders so that your influence continues to grow through others

Building a Legacy

This list is an excellent starting point when building one's legacy through influencing others. Legacy creation includes more than building wealth, material possessions, and leaving behind artifacts. Legacy building is depositing pieces of you in others that impact the culture, make a positive change, and empower others. Be the example you want to be reflected through your sons and daughters. In my book iDid and uCan 2, I write about legacy building, the future, role modeling, and parenting behaviors. In summary, my proactive approach involves:

  • Developing my leadership capabilities through education, training, and practice so that I am a prepared leader/parent

  • Empowering the people around me by sharing some of my authority and giving them the freedom to innovate

  • Mentoring (my children and others) to increase their potential through knowledge sharing and resources

  • Blessing others to help them reach their full potential (scholarships, internships, shadowing, and life coaching)

  • Repeating the process to develop other leaders to continue the legacy (read about the Tony Dungy coaching tree in my book)

My Legacy

The beginning of my legacy involves developing my adult sons. We are in constant training mode. All that I learn, I share with them to help them grow as adults. Although we have different career paths and various degrees of leadership potential, I must continue to develop the leaders within my sons. Leadership is vital in personal/ professional relationships. It is imperative that I lead by example and positively affect the lives of those I lead. Jim Doran, a collaborative author on Becoming a Person on Influence, writes, "One of the greatest things about becoming a person of influence is that you actually get to see the lives of others change before your eyes." As my sons develop as leaders, watching them grow and change before my eyes at varying paces is incredible. I am proud beyond measure. If my sons were asked, who has influenced you the most? I would be disappointed if their answer was not mom, which means I am not putting in the work!

Key Takeaway:

Building your legacy requires deliberate actions and begins at home with your children. If you are not a parent, encourage your nieces/nephews, neighbors, or youth in the community. Invest in those who are around you daily. I challenge you to

  • Serve others without expecting a pat on the back

  • Monitor your impact on others

  • Know yourself- bring your best self to those relationships

  • Live your life to the fullest, do what matters now, don't wait. Life is too short

  • Make a difference and not just a following

Are you making a difference?


Maxwell, J. C., & Doran, J. (1997). Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

© 2021 Lisa M. Coffey



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