Building Your Leadership Legacy

What do you want to be known for? Does your team have the skills and vision to succeed without you? What are you doing to position your company for long-term success? These are all important questions that often get pushed aside amidst the never ending list of tasks that plague most leaders. But, regardless of your age or future plans, considering these questions can have a positive impact on you and your team now and well into the future.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Kimberly Wade-Benzoni outlines a research-based approach to help you integrate these crucial issues into everyday decision making.

1) Think about what the previous generation did for you
How did your predecessor’s actions affect you? How did they shape the culture and what did they leave behind? Asking these questions can help you frame your own experience and adjust your actions accordingly.

2) Focus on the burdens rather than the benefits
When planning for the future, most leaders focus on distributing benefits like profits or other assets. However, addressing burdens like debt are just as important and can actually help create a deeper connection with the next generation, driving more effective, empathetic decision making.

3) Consider the responsibility that comes with your power
Recent research shows that when it comes to intergenerational decisions, power actually triggers an increased sense of responsibility, which can naturally help you to build a positive legacy.

4) Remember that you will die someday
While it may sound morbid, confronting your own inevitable demise is a powerful tool. Working to create a positive legacy helps confront fears regarding your own mortality, providing the opportunity to impact those around you even after you are gone.