AUGUST 2014

SKORPIOS ISLAND: A LEGACY OF
WEALTH AND POWER


The rugged coastline and cliffs made the lush green island seem deserted – until we sailed past its northern tip and stumbled upon an inlet where an ultra modern multi-million dollar yacht was moored.

Ubiquitous signs in Greek and English prohibited outsiders from approaching, anchoring or mooring. Buoys a few dozen meters from shore marked territorial waters as a man in a boat patrolled the coastline to prevent unauthorized land access. Luxurious landscaping indicated that the island was anything but abandoned. Still, it was unusually silent compared to its former glory in the 60s and 70s.

Skorpios is known as the private island of the late Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis. The shipping scion planted forests and built beaches by importing white sand, transforming the once nearly barren island into a paradise and luxury resort. The family compound includes three residences, a helicopter landing pad and a quay large enough to accommodate mammoth yachts.

World-renowned persons as opera diva Maria Callas and former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy spent their holidays on the idyllic Ionian island. In 1968, Onassis’s marriage to Jackie brought the island into the spotlight and Greece to world attention as a vacation destination. International media that went crazy for the celebrity couple soon made ownership of a private island the highest symbol of wealth and status.

Today Onassis, his son Alexander, and his daughter Christina all are buried on the island. The sole heir of the legendary Greek dynasty is Christina’s 28-year old daughter, Athina Onassis Roussel, who is married to an Olympic show jumping rider and lives in Brazil.

In his will, Onassis prohibited the sale of Skorpios, stating that the island would remain in the family as long as his descendants could afford to cover its maintenance expenses. The day they could not, he decreed, the island would be donated to Olympic Airways or to the Greek state, excluding the 30-acre area around the family tombs.

 

Clearly, the Greek tycoon’s intent was to protect the iconic symbol of the Onassis family and legacy beyond his lifetime (which is why last year’s sale of the island to the 24-year old daughter of a Russian billionaire has become every lawyer’s dream case).

Whether you like it or not, regardless of your age, sphere of influence or net worth, you’re building a legacy too. Day after day, you build it with the choices you make with respect to who you are, what you do, and what you have. It’s the result of those seeds planted throughout your lifetime that germinate, break ground, grow, and mature, reaping fruits as you evolve and grow.

Onassis was clear about who he was, and his aspirations. His life tells the story. The benefit of pulling out your quintessential self, buried beneath layers of conditioning, roles and responsibilities, trials and tribulations is that you can concentrate your attention and investments in what matters most rather than diffusing or squandering your time, energy and resources.

Your legacy is a labor of love not a chore. It sets direction for your life. It’s a touchstone to guide each decision. It determines why and how you live. It influences with whom you hang out, and in what you invest. It’s where you become unstoppable.

Everyone has a legacy: first they live it, then they leave it for the benefit of future generations like a baton passed in a race.

What’s yours?

If you’re uncertain about what your legacy is, consider these five points:

    1. Significance. Where do you find the greatest meaning?

    2. Ambassadorship. What or whom do you represent, advocate or promote?

    3. Non-negotiables. What are you not willing to discuss or compromise?

    4. Endowment. What are you uniquely great at, and do better than anyone else

    5. Value. Who is better off as a result of your contributions? And how ?

These questions deserve answers because living your legacy is about stepping into your greatness. It’s the source of your greatest potential, and it’s your birthright.

If you’d like more tips on how to clarify your legacy, I invite you to view the leadership video below on How To Face Fear of The Unknown.

WHAT’S NEW

How To Face Fear of The
Unknown

Can a leader be effective if
he or she is hiding from fears
Fear is part of the human condition:
whether your fear is
specific or involves the
unknown, join me in
Greece as I reveal two tips that never fail to yield remarkable results!
(Length: 2:50)

 

Do You Have The Courage of Your Talent?

Did you hear what golf’s “next big thing” had to say after the British Open? Step into my office for a quick break and brief tolearn what Rory McIlroy can teach us as leaders.(Length: 1:31)

If you find this newsletter helpful, and have a friend or colleague who you think might also enjoy it, please forward it. We welcome new subscribers! Sign up for a monthly subscription by clicking here.

“Your legacy is the source of your greatest potential, and deepest fulfillment… it’s what you’re willing to bleed for.”

Angie Katselianos

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