This is going up late because I have been down with a migraine for the better part of the last 19 hours. Thanks allergies for that…but thankfully after some meds and rest I am feeling more like those in the prison than the walkers on Walking Dead.
Going back to graduate school after having been out on my own for two years, not writing papers and not reading textbooks, terrified me. Not having a graduate assistantship that first year was even scarier. The trends showed that those who didn’t have GAs likely wouldn’t have the experiences needed for that first job. but the thing that scared me more than all that? Having Dr. E. Grady Bogue as my professor. In the field of leadership and teaching he was synonymous. Second years would jokingly remark about how difficult he was and we should be worried. Somehow I avoided having him my first year due to switching around practicums and classes. My cohort would comment in our other classes about how they had to prep for his class so much more than any other, and how eventhough he was in ill health at the time, he could still strike fear in the heart of a student.
My second year I had the misfortune, as some would say, to have him both semesters for classes. I do not know that I have ever respected another professor or higher education administrator they way I did Dr. Bogue. He had the appeal of a grandfatherly type, but one you knew you’d better be willing to engage in witty conversation with or he would leave you in the dust. I would find myself more excited about learning leadership from him than I ever have before. He would not take “I don’t know” as an answer and provided one of the greatest quotes on the leading with integrity that I still carry with me in my own work today: If you could not stand to have the decision you are about to make be put in the spotlight, be put in the headline of the morning paper or on the six o’clock news, then you should rethink where you are leading from.
He challenged in such a way to make a person think before they spoke, and recognize where their values of leadership were vested. He hammered home the thoughts of leading with integrity and provided lessons from his own time in working in upper level administration that still resonate with me. Sadly last evening I got word that he had passed after a battle with cancer. But I know his legacy lives on far beyond his life, because he chose to live it in such a way where I saw his faith, his heart, his life carve out a legacy into each of our lives as his student. One that I know for me, I still carry today in my work, that I hear myself sharing some Bogie-isms quite often with students. But also that I allow his legacy to impact my own.
We each carry our own legacy. I craft and create it, not on what I think it should be but who I truly am living out each day. I don’t know that I have ever taken time to consider my legacy, as that’s often we think about far too late in life. It is not about focusing on ourselves in this legacy creation, but the eternal perspective our legacy leaves.
As the world encourages us to focus on our greatness, as believers it should be focused on making God great. Does your passion for God show through in your legacy? I know many days mine does not, and it’s causing me to pause and reconsider who I am in my legacy story as well as who God is. Do my priorities reflect the legacy I want to leave? Priorities, driven by our passions, will make or break our legacies.
Take time in the coming days to see what legacy you have built, and how you can begin to live that legacy in the way you so desire…through your passions, your priorities, and your people.