From the classroom to the boardroom to the civic hall, Sheila Webb Pierson’s message is clear and simple: live toward your legacy.
“A legacy encompasses the passions of our lives,” says Pierson, author of a humorous new book: “Coveralls & Tell-Alls: Everything You Need to Know About Leadership I Learned on the Farm” (Indie Books International, 2016).
“Too many people leave legacy to chance,” says Pierson. “Don’t be that person.”
As a professional speaker, Pierson uses her Southern charm to entertain while mastering the art of storytelling to reach audiences and individuals. Pierson grew up in northwest Arkansas and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business and a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from “the great hog nation, aka the University of Arkansas.”
In addition to working as a coach for executives, Pierson and her family are currently the fourth generation of family farmers to operate an Angus cow calf farm.
Here are six ways Pierson advises leaders on how to live their legacy:
- Be Proud of Where You Come From. This is where your story begins. It begins with the past. Think of your stompin’ grounds and what great experiences you had. Or the not so great. Start your story with those priceless moments.
- Admit Your Mistakes. We have likely made people so mad at us they wanted to jerk a knot in our tail. One of the hardest things to ever do, yet the easiest way to connect with others, is admitting your mistakes. Mistakes give us wisdom and a certain amount of prestige. Connecting with others through the stories of mistakes is not only effective, but also therapeutic.
- Communicate. People can get just plain tore up about misunderstandings. Who owns that misunderstanding? You do. Find ways to convey what you need to and check their understanding before disaster strikes.
- Laugh at Yourself. Oh my lawd. Laughing burns calories, laughing makes you happy and goodness does learning to laugh at yourself improve your life. Not only will you live longer, but your connector skills will be heightened as you develop the stories that make you famous or infamous.
- Serve Others. Serving others never goes out of style and is always good manners. We know that servant leadership is important, yet we still seem to struggle with the behaviors to support that thought. Why? Step back and re-evaluate the actions that support your words. What are the little things you have done and what were your motivations?
- Live with Purpose and Passion. At the end of the day, what is your legacy? What will people celebrate when they think of you? Legacies don’t happen on their own.
Pierson has a passion for helping coworkers and friends succeed. She has a fifteen-year accomplished track record of coaching for success, as well as inspiring others to lead teams through chaos into achieving remarkable results.