Thoughts on Professional Legacy


Sheryl Jackson HeadshotBy Sheryl Jackson

I was recently challenged with the following exercise: all the members on the board of Empowering Women as Leaders International are required to draft their legacies and tie in the lineage of their professional and personal impact. This exercise asks us to be forward thinkers, yet look in retrospect, as the word legacy would suggest.

While I, and others who this assignment fell to, may growl, cry, or laugh out loud about all that we have yet to do with our lives, we realize too the benefit and seriousness of such a strategic assignment. I shared this assignment with someone who is two decades younger than I; ironically, they positively loved it as they saw it as an opportunity to dream big without speedbumps or obstacles. My millennial advisors always stretch my mind!

One meaning of the word legacy is how someone is remembered and what contributions they made while they were alive. I’d like to ask you to think about your legacy in terms of the CRA. How has the CRA supported or advanced your professional legacy? What else will shape your professional legacy? Here are some ideas about how you can help advance your profession, invest in yourself and others, stretch professionally, and leave an impact:

  1. Mentor others in your department; support and encourage them to achieve their CRA.
  2. Ask your HR team to include “CRA Preferred” in position descriptions when recruiting and expanding your department.
  3. Communicate to your executive leadership team how your CRA has helped you to achieve success in the various domains of human resource management, asset management, fiscal management, operations management, and communications and information management. Use metrics in telling your story. (If you’re willing to share your CRA impact story with the RACC and your fellow CRAs, please send it to Kathryn Keeler at kkeeler@ahra.org.)
  4. Submit a nomination to serve your profession as a RACC Commissioner when they open this summer.
  5. Share your knowledge and experience with your peers by writing for Link. Contact: Kerri Hart-Morris at khartmorris@ahra.org.
  6. Attend conferences to advance your professional development, such as the AHRA Spring Conference, Annual Meeting, webinars, and local area meetings.
  7. Engage with the RACC through our periodic feedback surveys (look for one arriving in your inbox soon!).

To summarize my message to you: plan challenges, schedule growth, embrace change, engage in new opportunities, dream big, start now, invest in yourself, plant seeds, grow others, be deliberate, and advance your profession.

On the RACC, we are tasked with envisioning the big picture for the CRA credential. Our broader responsibilities frequently find us engaged in discussions about strategy and goals as we collectively look at how we can advance the CRA and be the best stewards of the credential for each of you and for the profession.

Come and grow with us!


Sheryl Jackson is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Director of Governance for Empowering Women as Leaders Int’l, and your RACC Public Commissioner. She welcomes your thoughts and questions and may be reached directly at sherylmahoneyjackson@gmail.com or 817- 542-8787.

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