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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Reproducing Leaders

Over the years I’ve learned a large part of being a leader requires the reproduction of other leaders. Which team do you think can accomplish more? Team A is comprised of a genius leader with several helper-followers. Team B is made up of an accomplished leader who is developing other leaders on the team?

Which one?

Team B is the correct answer.

Team A kicks up a lot of dust and seemingly through a lot of activity has the appearance of making a lot happen, they seem very efficient.

Team B, however through the development of a team of leaders is constantly re-evaluating the performance and adjusting to the most effective ways of growing, therefore in the long run, Team B will accomplish more.

How do we, as leaders, reproduce more leaders on our teams and in our organization? Training might be the immediate answer that comes to mind. The sticking point is that most training is task-based and you have enough of that already present on a team like Team A. They are very task-oriented.

Growing leaders requires the training not be task-oriented, but more development-oriented. There is a knowledge-gap in this area in most organizations. It’s the reason why our company exists. We have formulated systems and approaches to develop people and talent. In today’s post, I want to outline some of the steps to leadership talent development.

1. Foundation Formation

This deals with self-discovery of motivations, behaviors, security issues, emotional function and dysfunction. It has to do with finding the gaps of leadership behavior and working on those to become more skillful in these areas. These are called “soft-skills” and very lacking in most people and organizations.

I discovered almost 20 years ago now that my primary motivation was to help others succeed. For years when anyone asked me what I did, I would reply “I help make dreams come true.” I have always loved working in leadership development, It has brought me fulfillment on such a deep level. This is what I am talking about when I say “Foundation Formation”, finding those pieces that fit together to form your foundation as a leader. It’s different for each person.

Things to consider:

  1. What makes me laugh?

  2. What makes me cry?

  3. What am I passionate about?

  4. What are my talents and abilities?

  5. How do I make decisions?

  6. What frustrates me?

These are just some of the questions that need to be answered in the foundation formation stage of a developing leader. If we can tune into these things, we are going to get the best results and place people in the right places for productivity and growth.

2. Skill Formation

You can’t just use memos, put up posters or laminated cards around the company. Skill formation is hands-on repetitious practice of the skills necessary for leadership. Those tools can be constant reminders, but the primary leader must assume the responsibility to help their team in the development process. Leadership development flows out of the person you are. People get hired for what they can do but the company will grow or won’t grow based on who they are.

In most organizations, we train people, but we do not develop people.

Training carries a specific, narrow focus; developing is a broad focus.

3. Strategic Formation

Here we focus on extending leaders into the whole organization. Here is where we are not just confined to our specific position, or our specific job, but we can develop into leaders to help the whole company by extending ourselves not just by growing ourselves and our relationships, but by growing the organization as well.

In developing leadership skills, I’ve found that the best use of our power is to give it away and invest it into others. This requires great trust, both in ourselves and in others. This is, however, the difference maker in developing future leaders.

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