Understanding The Legacy Pyramid...
At the base of everyone’s life planning is freedom of choice. This allows people to achieve Self-Actualization, as described by Maslow, and to build wealth for Financial Independence. The base of the Legacy Pyramid is based on a P3 model consisting of 1) your most important priorities based on your core values (Time), 2) generating profitable returns from your actions (Treasure), and 3) leading a purpose driven life (Talents).
Once you are able to fulfill your true aspirations in your purpose driven life, preservation and transcendence become important for legacy planning. Family Legacy is about taking care of your loved ones. This phase can be broken down into 4 core processes: 1) Transition Planning, based on a) educating the next generation, b) managing the future of your assets based on the unique abilities of your heirs, and c) making certain that your core personal and family values are passed on; 2) Ownership Planning, based on who will control your assets; 3) Fairness of Assets Distribution between heirs, partners, and other stakeholders (such as debt holders, shareholders, etc.); and 4) Preserving the Family Legacy of your life story, values, and offering guidance to future generations on the replacement of your unique abilities within the family.
The last phase of the Legacy pyramid is how you want to be remembered for making a difference in the world based on the impact of your life, namely your Social Capital Legacy. This last phase of the Legacy Pyramid is based upon who will will control the future of your dreams, assets, and values. Typically this final choice is based upon your legacy being Government Directed versus Self Directed. If proper planning is not done, taxes and intestate laws will determine the future of your assets. Furthermore, your aspirations for the future of your family and making a lasting difference in the world may be lost due to the lack of a governance structure to manage your Social Capital Legacy. On the other hand, you can choose that your Social Capital Legacy be self-directed. You can lay the foundation for building a positive personal, family, and/or business legacy for generations to come based on your core values.
What is the Seven Generation Legacy Process?
In today’s society, it is common to think that estate planning, or succession planning, are the best way to protect your financial wealth for future generations. However, as Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us:
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
With the Seven Generation Legacy Process, our goal is to help you take a long term perspective of at least 150 years. Obviously, the chance of you, or any of your immediate family members, surviving this full cycle are slim. Consequently, this forces our clients to plant the seeds for success and significance today for future generations.
The best way to understand Seven Generation Legacy Process
- Respecting Traditions
- Utilizing, Documenting, and Preserving Best Practices
- Finding Common Ground
- The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts
- Life is the Ultimate Gift
- Focus on the value of the Legacy you will leave behind versus the value of what you own
- Make a Choice and move Onward and Upward
Keep alive the memories and stories of past generations, along with the important values and traditions that you and your family are currently following, in a respectful manner.
Every member of your family has unique abilities and gifts that contribute to your family and business success. It is important that you develop a process to properly utilize, capture, and preserve those gifts for current and future generations. It is folly to presume that your family, or business, will have these strengths easily available within future generations.
In order to effectively strengthen your current family, and keep future generations unified, it is critical to find a common mission that everyone is willing to support. Becoming a significant inter-generational family dynasty requires a higher purpose that all family members are willing to work towards
Too often families and businesses confuse material success with true wealth. Just because one particular family member earns more money or accumulates substantially more material wealth than other family members, it is important to remember that material wealth cannot be taken with you once you pass on. True wealth involves creating a pooled resource for the family, also known as the family’s culture, that captures each family member’s unique abilities, the various family life stories, intellectual capital, financial capital, experiential capital, relationship capital, and spiritual capital.
Unfortunately one of the biggest tragedies of our time is that human life is being devalued in relationship to material wealth. In reality, you are already a multi-trillionaire, at least in the living cells that create your body. It is important to remember that your treasure is meant to support your time and talent so that you can fulfill your life purpose. Unfortunately, too many individuals and families have fallen into the trap of using their time and talents to solely accumulate worldly treasures…
Whether or not a family member focuses on their legacy is irrelevant since everyone leaves behind a legacy. How do you want to be remembered by your loved ones, your community, and future generations? Live each day as if it were your last, doing the things that will make a difference, since one day you will be right!
Seize the day! Live with passion. Make each decision count regardless of the outcome. Every second that ticks by in your life is a second that will never return and has been spent forever. Make a difference in the world each day and fulfill your life purpose by sharing your gifts with others.