#4 Steps How to Ensure Your Legacy Is A Choice, Not A Coincidence

#4 Steps How to Ensure Your Legacy Is A Choice, Not A Coincidence

Why this matters  "The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind." The increased choice on domestic flights, and of

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Why this matters 

“The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.”

The increased choice on domestic flights, and of course, the increasingly pocket friendly airfares, all seem to have conspired to ensure during my frequent travel to Kisumu, I see very little of my cousins at both the “Machakos” and even the Kisumu City Bus Terminus. Such was the case, recently, when I took a Silverstone Airways flight from Kisumu, bound for Nairobi on a rainy and cloudy morning.

Legacy of Kenneth Matiba and the Matiba Family Business legacy the

Kenneth Matiba

As I settled into my seat ready for takeoff, I noted the surging popularity of the social media hashtag #RIPKennethMatiba. My mind begun to drift from the taxing planes in the distance, to thoughts of this air services company owned by the Somow Family. Which despite only being in operations for a few months, was transforming air travel in Kenya. I was soon pondering, “what if” The Matiba Familys’ efforts to set-up a similar venture in the late 60s wasn’t frustrated. What strides would we, as a healthy nation, have made in air travel. It was hard to stop thinking about the man – the late Kenneth Matiba.

Though so much good has already been shared about Matibas’ life and contribution, [including #021 Family Business 101] I resisted the urge to add to the volume of praise. And anyway, we probably already agree on this point. The idea of Legacy however seemed to occupy my thoughts of late. I wondered whether those currently rallying behind the hastag really reflected on what it meant to build a legacy.

Silverstone a Family business Airline changing Kenya Air Services

Mohammed Somow (C) MD Silverstone Air At the Launch of the Airline Family Business

We were soon airborne. And I was grateful to Aunty Baby, for her suggestion to always sit at the front of the plane where bumps and shakes are felt much less keenly. We soon approached Wilsons Airport, but not before a few heart-stopping moments. The words ‘airplane’, ‘turbulence’ and ‘fear’ which have a nasty habit of popping up in the same sentence made an appearance on several occasions. As we tried to land at Wilsons, a close cousin – namely poor visibility – soon joined them. After several frustrating attempts to bring the plane into Wilsons Airport, the captain gave us a “bonus aerial tour” over flooded Nairobi City before eventually touching down at Jomo Kenya International Airport [JKIA]. And while there is no such thing as a “perfect” landing, the firm and safe touchdown on a wet runway drew an audible sigh of relief from the passengers. Bravo Captain @Richard Oloka! Silverstone Air #letstakeoff as always, is my domestic flight of choice!

Somow MD Silvestone Air disrupting Kenya Air Services Industry

Silverstone Air

As we headed for domestic arrivals, I bumped into Sande Kondiek, a childhood friend who was on the same flight. We hadn’t met in a while, and so, we had loads to catch-up on. Like me, he marveled at the recent ease and cost of air travel. We discussed recent football results, before landing on politics and the dynamics of sustaining family legacies. “With the passing of someone like Matiba,” Sande had began pensively, “you start thinking of big, things: the lives we have – both the bits inherited and created – how we experience our lives and the impact we leave.”

“Its a pity,” he continued. “but i doubt if the fellows rallying behind the hashtag [#RIPKennethMatiba] have an idea of the impact of the hashtag nor the deep meaning of leaving a legacy ?” Sande said.

While I thought that comment too harsh, Sande soon posed a series of question which set me thinking. “Whom among your leaders would you admire? he asked. “ahaa…tell me…” he prodded. “Whose actions among them would you emulate?” As we rode out of the airport in silence, and onto Mombasa Road these questions kept turning in my head. Sande continued to share various examples of people, who had left brilliant legacies. From the examples he shared, a series of themes soon emerged which we bundled into #4 steps being the milestones for anyone who wishes to leave a positive legacy;

1.   Create your Vision

Mandela inspired a legacy. Founders plan for Inspiring Family legacy Kenya Ouma Muga Voice / IFFB

Founders Responsibility to Inspire NextGen

“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” —Jim Rohn

You should start with an end in mind. Begin by reflecting on what you value, and care about most. Consider your passion and the unique skills you possess and develop your vision on how you wish to be remembered.

2. Determine your Legacy

Wisdom in Family Business Aphorisms Ouma Muga Voice / IFFBWealth, if you use it, comes to an end; learning, if you use it, increases. ~ Swahili proverb

Consider the legacy you wish to leave, how do you wish to be remembered? A legacy can take many forms, it could be financial, institutional, or wish fulfillment or even [and more] importantly passing of values and life lessons.

3. Develop a Strategy

Asante in West Africa have a rich Legacy inspiring proverbs proverbsWhen you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. ~Ashanti Proverb

Your planned legacy will not happen unless you work upon it. You must possess and work consistently according to a plan, without which the legacy could be a “hit-or-miss.”

4. Leave a Legacy

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you – Shannon L Adler

A legacy is not only what you leave behind, but more importantly the impact you have on others while you are alive. Be sure to live your values with those you work with, your family and those you meet in this life. Usually nothing is more likely to survive you more than the impact you made on the lives of those you interact with in your daily life.

Every action we take – be it as seemingly inconsequential as hitting the “send” on an email to liking this this article or as life-altering as saying “I do” – comes down to a choice. Leaving a legacy is one of those choices. It’s not a coincidence.

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If there is one thing I picked from Sande that morning, it was that we can all be authors of our own legacy instead of letting someone else write our stories. So, what legacy do you wish to leave for the community, family and friends?

As experts working with Family-owned businesses, we deep dive….our target is to inspire, motivate and support owner-managers and families-in-business, to thrive for generations. If your need to talk we are here to listen and provide you with solutions.…over to you………

Family Business 101 Ensure legacy planned / have a wealth preservation strategy strategy Ouma Muga voice / IFFB




  • comment-avatar
    Dickens Ouya 2 years ago

    Surely knowledge doesn’t end with exams
    Amazing insight

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