A few days ago, I entered a local, afternoon networking conference. A stunningly youthful college student handed me my free book and agenda. I clipped my nametag to my blouse button and walked into the daunting conference space. Other badged people in black and gray suits milled around the industrial-carpeted, fluorescent-lit room walled-in by sponsor booths. I almost ran back to the parking lot, thinking to myself, “If I never have to attend another event like this, I will die a happy lady.”

After a few minutes of being handed business cards and of connecting with a few acquaintances who made me feel like I wasn’t a total alien from another planet, I was herded into the auditorium. Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic and author of Discover your True North was the first speaker. I sat down.

Bill is impressive. Soon, I had forgotten my misgivings of spending the afternoon, my precious time, at the conference. Bill shared his vulnerable story on leadership. He had some really amazing thoughts, two struck me. One, he talked about legacy. How do we want to be remembered when we hit 97 years old? Two, he talked about the invaluable data that exists for leaders in 360 feedback.

I must admit, my heart started pounding when I heard Bill’s insights on legacy and 360 feedback are on par with my Executive Legacy Interview/360 Assessment. I’ve designed the interview and 360 assessment process to take a deep, personal inward journey to define our vision for our legacy and to gather 360 data to determine where we are at currently at building that legacy. 360 data is real-time feedback on how the people who matter to us and our legacy — direct-reports, peers, mentor, colleagues, and managers — perceive us.  360 data allows us to see the gaps in how we are actually being perceived and how we want to be perceived to build the legacy we choose for ourselves.

Despite my initial gut-reaction to flee the conference, after I listened to Bill, I walked out of the conference re-energized to continue my work on the Executive Legacy.  Another reminder in my legacy journey to open my heart to any experience that crosses my path.

Interested in building your legacy?  Connect with Michelle LeBow, Executive Legacy: Story, Speech, Media.