How to Prepare to Leave an Impact

By June 13, 2018 December 2nd, 2021 03. Intellectual Dimension

Hi, Doug Andrew here.

You know, I’ve been blessed to be able to rub shoulders with some of the top thinkers on this planet. Dan Sullivan has coached over 6,000 of the world’s top entrepreneurs.

He has a tool that I love to use that’s called the Impact Filter. I’ve used this tool effectively for all kinds of projects for several years. In fact, Dan and I co-authored an article for the “Harvard Business Review,” and this is a game-changer for many business owners, but you can use it in your family.


I’m going to explain how we use it in our family for planning a family vacation. The Impact Filter is basically where you sit down for 20 minutes, when you have a project or a decision, and you write down what the project is, and then you articulate the purpose. The steps include:

  1. What is it that you want to accomplish?
  2. The level of importance—what’s the biggest difference this will make?
  3. The ideal outcome—what does the completed project look like?
  4. What’s the best result? And what’s the worst result if you don’t take action?
  5. The success criteria—what has to be true when the project is completed (in full living color, as you envision it)?

So, I use the Impact Filter. This is the copyrighted form, but it’s a very simple process. Listen close. When I’m writing a book, I fill out an Impact Filter about what I want the book to accomplish. 

If I have a particular project, I will fill out an Impact Filter. I will not hold a meeting with any employee in my company or team unless there’s an Impact Filter first.

No Impact Filter? No meeting.


Well, I mentioned that we use these to plan our Family Vacations with a Purpose. Now my wife, Sharee, and I, we have 16 grandchildren. This is the sixth year we have had our annual Grandpa’s Camp. 

So I filled this out this morning. And so our Grandpa’s Camp comes up at the end of June, so that’s the project: Grandpa’s Camp 2018. 

What’s the purpose? To have an over-the-top six-day experience for our grandchildren. To learn, connect, and have fun. 

So, what’s the importance? Anticipation is most of it. They get so excited for this. They don’t want to go to Scout Camp or Girls’ Camp, because they want to make sure they come to Grandpa’s Camp, and we usually don’t have conflicts there. We want to continue the tradition with constant improvements. 

And what’s the ideal outcome? The 12-year-olds and older come for the first two-and-a-half days, and we do over-the-top high adventure experiences, and we talk teenage talk. And then the eight-year-olds come, and we camp out and go to the top of the mountain at 10,500 feet. 

And then the four-year-olds and older come.

What really works well for success criteria is the teenagers come first, then the eight-year-olds, then the four-year-olds. The teenagers help facilitate the treasure hunt and some of the arts and crafts.

But every one of the grandchildren will come prepared to conduct a hobby, an activity, and also to teach a life lesson. This year, the theme is “Let your light so shine.”

And so, we want to make sure that the best thing that happens is that we build memories; they learn lessons; they leave technology home; and they will leave Grandpa’s Camp knowing how to let their light shine in the world. 



  • The Power of the Impact Filter—This tool developed by Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan can be a powerful way to help you clearly identify your objectives and success criteria for any endeavor—a company meeting, professional undertaking, or even family gatherings.
  • Create a Legacy through Purposeful Family Gatherings—In Doug Andrew’s book, Entitlement Abolition, he provides an in-depth look at multiple ways to leave a lasting legacy. By planning Family Retreats with a Purpose, you can pass along family values and Habits of Abundance. One of Doug’s favorite gatherings you can incorporate with your family? An annual Grandpa’s Camp!

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