Are You a “Catapult Leader?”


Think with me for a minute about your favorite coach. Maybe they were your athletic coach. Maybe they were another kind of teacher or mentor.

What made them your favorite? If you’re like most of us, they were your favorite because they stretched you to become more than you were before. Their influence in your life caused you to grow in character or skill. They inspired you to work harder, learn more, or become your very best.

What were your feelings toward that coach? Did you trust them? Were you loyal to them? Why? Was it because you knew they were on your side? Because you knew they had your best in mind, even when they challenged you? Would you say that person left a legacy, making the world better by making you and others better? Would you say that person sacrificed his or her own capital (time, energy, maybe even money or financial opportunities) to make you better?

That kind of leader is what I call a “Catapult Leader.” They’re someone who finds joy in seeing others grow as leaders. They’re not satisfied with just being personally successful. They’re going for greatness by investing their leadership capital to make more leaders. And as a result they continue to grow themselves.

Successful leaders concern themselves with gaining more followers, but Catapult Leaders concern themselves with launching more leaders. Their leadership capital strategy is one of multiplication, not just addition. They want to see those they lead begin to lead others. They’re excited, not intimidated, when those they lead become even more skilled than they are. They give more responsibility and authority to those they lead as a means of helping them grow their combined leadership capital.

Being a Catapult Leader requires sacrifice. But they make launching more great leaders part of their personal mission and business strategy. They see their responsibility to multiply their leadership capital through others as a gift to families, communities, their city and beyond. And, because of their reputation, they don’t have trouble recruiting motivated future leaders. Catapult Leaders understand this fascinating principle: If we focus only on a successful career and growing our own leadership capital, we may or may not ever launch more great leaders. But if we make launching great leaders an important part of our job description, we’re very likely to find ourselves in high demand and see great success in our own professional careers.

If “Catapult Leader” describes your leadership style, contact me and I’ll network you with others in the Catapult Community, because we’re even better together. We can learn from each other, and encourage other leaders to join us on our mission to launch more great leaders. Let’s begin to change the culture in our spheres of influence.

If you’re not a Catapult Leader, but you aspire to be, let me help you. I can give you the skills to multiply more leaders for the rest of your career. If you’re interested in getting started, contact me and we’ll begin the journey with others who want to leave a lasting leadership legacy.

For Discussion:

  1. If coaching can be so effective in developing talent in sports and entertainment, who do you think it is so neglected in an area as important as leadership?
  2. Have you ever received leadership performance coaching? If so, how did you find it helping?

Get the leadership training you need with a Leadership Excellence Course coming this spring to Seattle, Vancouver, B.C., and Alaska.

Published by Jay

Jay Pullins has been leading and developing leaders in a variety of settings for over 25 years. He has a diverse background as a military officer, an appointed public official, and executive leader of Alaska’s largest church. Jay is the founder and owner of Anchorage-based Catapult Leadership Solutions, providing expertise in developing the character and competency of leaders in all sectors. A 1989 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Jay led U.S. and multi-national teams for the U.S. Air Force, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), NORAD, and the Alaska National Guard. He led combat crews as an Air Battle Manager in Operation DESERT STORM, the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, and counter-drug operations in Central and South America. Jay retired as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel in 2011. Jay served as Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor, then Special Assistant to the Governor of Alaska. He also served as Executive Pastor of ChangePoint church for five years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the US Air Force Academy, and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from the University of Oklahoma. He serves as a consultant and coach to church leaders for 3dMovements, and serves on the Board of Directors for Beyond Borders and the Conflict Resolution Center. Jay and his wife, Sonia, live in Anchorage, Alaska, and have two grown sons.

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