What’s Your Leadership Family Tree?

Let’s build on the previous column that listed the top U.S. corporate leadership factories, and bring the concept of developing leaders down to your level. As in you, specifically – how many leaders have you developed in your career? Do you know where they are today? How large are their teams? What impact are they having on their organizations?

Here’s an interesting exercise that captures your legacy as a leader – the leadership “family tree”. Just as the field of genealogy uses the “trunk and branches” metaphor to depict ancestors or offspring, you can draw the same to document the leaders you’ve developed down through the years.

Start with your own name on the trunk, and write the names of the companies you worked for on the main branches (i.e., if you worked at five companies in your management career, you’ll need five main branches on your leadership tree). Then, start identifying direct reports or team members that you helped groom into people leaders, and place them on the tree’s smaller branches, by company.

When finished, you’ll have a record of your legacy as a people developer. Who’s gone on to big leadership roles? Where are they? What kind of corporate, government or non-profit breadth is represented on the tree? Is everyone in the same field as you, or have some “branched” out to other disciplines?

It feels good to develop someone into an effective people leader. Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to do this many times in your career. Take a few minutes to capture the many lives you’ve touched with your coaching and mentoring, and know that your legacy lives on, through them, as they touch so many more…