Looking through a present-day lens back into history, it's easy to identify businesses or individuals that have left a legacy.
I obviously can't speak for the founders, but I suspect they didn't envisage the contribution their vision would make over time, and how enduring it would be.
Names like Charles Kingsford Smith, Dame Nellie Melba, Sir John Monash, and Dame Joan Sutherland are well known. Others like David Unaipon should be recognised more - the bloke is on the $50 note after all. Businesses like Coopers Brewery and RM Williams are also household names.
Other names aren't as well known, such as Pam Murray-White for example, the founder of Operation Flinders. As I'm sure regular readers are aware, I am fortunate to have an involvement with this organisation. While I never met Pam, as unfortunately she passed away at an early age in 1995, I feel as if I know her through other people that did know her.
I asked those that knew her and are still involved some 30 years later: what was it about her that made her such a visionary leader?
These people commented that she had such passion for the cause, and that her enthusiasm was infectious.
There have been more than 8500 young people that have gone through the program in the past 30 years, and demand is greater than supply. That's a great legacy in anyone's language.
Humility and hard work are vital ingredients, and go a long way.
There are plenty of legacy family farming businesses also. Some are the well-known foundational SA pastoral families, which have successfully grown and kept the business in the family for seven or eight generations and counting.
Others are less well known, but have stayed around for the long-term and are still going strong. Others are in their infancy, and will likely grow significant legacies in the coming decades.
The stories I like best are the ones where the initial landowner started from scratch. I know of a few that were shearers, and gradually bought small parcels of land.
Others were farm managers or share-farmers and received a bit of assistance in the way of vendor finance or other favourable terms.
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Most people have a bit of a leg up of some description along the way, but it's what you make of the opportunity that is the most important component.
In lots of instances, I suspect the founder of any business had a vision. Some may clearly see the future and how the business will develop, others may just simply be doing a great job, and the business grows organically as a result.
It doesn't really matter which way it's done. The most important part is making a start.
I am sure people who end up being a household name don't have this aspect in mind. If you do something purely for recognition, you're invariably doing it for the wrong reasons.
Humility and hard work are vital ingredients, and go a long way. If this path is followed, the legacy takes care of itself.
- Details: bagshawagriconsulting.com.au
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