The number one job of great leaders is to make more leaders. This is how great leaders leave a legacy for every organization, every family, and every community they touch.
This may be different than how many leaders would define success. But remember, we’re not talking about success. We’re talking about greatness. If a leader has a well-written job description, it defines what the leader needs to do for the organization to be SUCCESSFUL. And that’s important! I don’t mean to marginalize this.
But I do want to call leaders to something higher than just running a successful organization. Let’s talk about making your organization great!
A great organization is one where leaders coach their followers to become great leaders themselves. This doesn’t happen automatically. It begins with great leaders who have certain character and skills. Let’s talk about character first.
Leaders who make more leaders are selfless. They put the needs of their followers, and of their organizations, ahead of their own. They make time (the most precious commodity they have) for others. They help others grow as they are pursuing their own growth. So they are inviting others into their worlds when it would likely be easier not to.
Leaders who make more leaders must be intentional. A leader who prioritizes time for investing in junior leaders is sacrificing something else less important intentionally. Investing in people requires a much bigger investment of time and emotional energy than is required to just perform normal work tasks. But great leaders understand that investing in more leaders is one of an organizations highest payoff activities over the long run.
Organizations that make more leaders are led by confident leaders. Insecure leaders will never make more leaders. The best they will do is make more followers. Insecure leaders are afraid to give away leadership to others. What if they actually make leaders who are better than they are? What if junior leaders stop depending on them and start thinking for themselves? What if junior leaders get promoted ahead of them? Insecure leaders hold junior leaders back because of their own fear.
But let’s think about this logically for a minute. Do you think that a leader who excels at bringing the best out of his team and makes more leaders is more valuable to her organization, or less valuable? Great leaders know that making more leaders creates value for their organization, and makes them more valuable in their boss’s eyes, not less valuable.
More importantly, great leaders see the leadership vacuum in our world, our communities, and our families, and they will step up and do their best to do something about it. And great leaders don’t compromise their values to get ahead of others.
Next time, we’ll talk about specific leadership skills necessary for making more leaders.
- How are you scheduling time to invest in the leaders you’re responsible for?
- What are some methods you use to grow the character and skills of other leaders?
- How are you setting an example of professional development for those who follow you?
3 thoughts on “Great Leaders Make More Leaders”
You are right on! Character is important to leadership. I really like the idea of selflessness. While it is true that leaders should reproduce themselves, leaders are first, visionaries and servants that others would want to emulate.
Thanks, Joseph. Good word.
I would add to this the need for a strong and compelling vision, which attracts people and invites them to join something “grand.” Coupled with this, there is the need for authentic contributions toward reaching this vision as a team, through collaboration, engagement, and the utilization of each member working toward full capacity.