Privacy, Humility, and Dignity in the Pursuit of Legacy
The need for appreciation and understanding, the desire to pass on wisdom, and the longing to be remembered are all a part of being human. Yet well-known families and successful leaders often feel a unique burden when sharing the story of their accomplishments.
Legacy preservation shouldn't just be about the person at the center of the story.
Recently, I met with the son of a successful family business founder. I had contacted this family because its business has the kind of inspirational, values-driven, self-made American Dream story that society needs to remember.
If I could share the founder’s name, many of you would say, “Oh, that guy! Yeah. People really need to know his story.”
While discussing various heritage preservation strategies, the son periodically expressed concern about his father’s humility. While the son was strongly motivated to preserve his father’s story, he was unsure how his dad would feel about a project in which he would be the central character.
To our clientele, humility and privacy are common concerns. This makes sense when you consider that humility is a natural by-product of hardship and sacrifice. And since no one can achieve great things without overcoming adversity, highly accomplished self-starters whose success positively impacts the world are inherently humble. We see that demonstrated in virtually every project.
Indeed, the stories of our clients’ lives and accomplishments are the focus of a legacy project. And we have designed our process around the rich and rewarding experiences of reflection and contemplation. But, as I explained to the son I was meeting with, our purpose is not to create a vanity project exclusively about one person.
Our purpose is not to create a vanity project exclusively about one person.
Whether we’re recording the heritage of a business, a family, or an individual, we approach legacy with a broad view of history. We see our client’s accomplishments as a hub that ties together and strengthens many other lives.
In most cases, the reason our clients have a story to tell is because their ideas, work ethic, risk tolerance, and leadership are all spokes that were necessary to build a strong wheel. Therefore, recording the story of their accomplishments and experiences preserves that same heritage for dozens, hundreds, and perhaps thousands of others who benefited from all that they achieved.
Whether developing a corporate history film for a century-old family enterprise, creating a private family history, or capturing a personal memoir for the pure joy of regaling in the pleasure of reminiscence, we always consider humility and dignity.
After all, no legacy worth preserving is merely the story of one person’s vanity.
This article first appeared in Müllerhaus's publication Legacy Journey Quarterly. For information regarding any of the projects mentioned in this publication or to inquire about Müllerhaus Legacy or our services, please contact Ally Seifried at 918-747-0018 or Alexandra@Mullerhaus.net
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