Leaders Reproduce

by Matt Monge

Something that’s always been interesting to me is how leaders–ones we might consider good or even great ones–seem to produce other leaders.

Duke’s Coach K might be at least a decent example of what I’m referring to. It’s very important to him that his players learn to live and lead well in addition to improving as athletes. And if you start to trace many Duke basketball players after graduation, a good chunk of them seem to gravitate toward and excel in leadership. Coach K certainly isn’t alone in this; you see the same thing happen with great leaders in whatever industry they’re in at the time. Leaders reproduce.

I wonder why greater emphasis isn’t placed on this in corporate settings. Everyone would nod and smile if we asked them if leadership and/or leadership development was important, and yet many organizations don’t seem to pay an awful lot of attention to whether people in leadership positions are actually producing other leaders in addition to producing revenue, or widgets, or whatever it is they’re producing. In other words, when we’re looking at people to either promote or hire into management positions, why isn’t more consideration given to whether these folks have demonstrated an ability to produce other leaders?

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