The purpose is to reflect upon what they would like various people in their lives to say about them after they are gone and then to create a life plan that would lead them to live their lives so these things would become true. It reminded me of Tom, Joe and Huck from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer when everyone thought them dead and they wandered into their own funeral.
If you have never done an exercise like this it is an absolute necessity if you aspire to lead others. Getting in touch with your own values and then building a life plan around those values is the first thing you do.
By defining what is important in your life you have given yourself permission to rid yourself of those things that you currently do that don’t fit and start living in a way that does. It allows you to say “you know what; I don’t want to be around people that act like that!” It really is a liberating feeling.
By understanding what you believe is important you then can begin to connect with those who share the same beliefs and values as you. As you begin your leadership career this will allow you to separate yourself from individuals and organizations that just do not belong in your life.
As you pick people to build an effective team, this will guide you to those who believe as you do and help ensure that your core values are reflected in your leadership team. With shared values team members can more easily build trust with each other, create harmony and a shared vision for the organization.
If writing your eulogy seems a little morbid to you then try this free tool from the Franklin Covey organization which walks you through building a personal mission statement. Click on this link and begin yours now: http://www.franklincovey.com/msb/
If you are having trouble motivating yourself to think about your demise, watch the classic Christmas movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” It always motivates me to remember what is important.