One of the things 2015 will be known for is a Triple Crown winner. For the first time since 1978 a thoroughbred race horse won the Kentucky derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont stakes all within the same racing season. I am no horse racing expert but even as an outsider I can acknowledge the accomplishment. After witnessing the third race which sealed the triple crown, I started to research a little bit of what this means to the horse and its owners. What I found is that while the production of three major wins in a year pays very well, the reproduction is where the real money is and the where the legacy of the winning horse will live on.
One of the changes a manager goes through as they transition into leadership is this concept of production and reproduction. A manager is very focussed on production, getting things done and ensuring others are getting things done. They monitor, schedule, train, and ensure the operational plan is adhered to. Leaders too have to focus on production, at least ensuring the manager is focused on production, but the leader should also be focused on reproducing leaders. What if you, as a leader, were not measured by what you produce, but rather measured by what you reproduce?
What exactly is it that you need to reproduce? Well, what are the characteristics you display that bring value to your organization? You bring a vision for the future, the ability to see the big picture, you bring the ability to motivate a team to work together to accomplish a goal, you bring the ability to clearly communicate complex ideas, and you bring the ability to develop others. There are probably many other characteristics you bring to the party and some are more mature than others as you progress in your development. All you have to do is look into others on your team and see the capabilities that match that list. Sit in meetings or monitor the water cooler with a perspective not only of production but of reproduction. Who is a good communicator of complex ideas? Who easily grasps a vision? Who enjoys mentoring? A reproducing leader will pay attention to this in meetings and other environments where they see people work. A leader who is afraid for their job, will keep other people down and not reproduce for fear they will be replaced. In a culture where reproduction is measured, this leader who thinks they are saving themselves by keeping others down, is actually hurting themselves. A leader who embraces the idea of reproducing other leaders will see these characteristics in others and seek opportunities to put these people in positions to grow those skills. In the process they will increase their value as a reproducer of great leaders.
This is much like a thoroughbred whose value significantly increases after the production. Understand that your value as a leader comes from your ability to reproduce great leadership characteristics in others. This process not only deepens you as a leader, it also works to create another triple crown leader who may someday surpass all of your production achievements and pass on to another generation what you helped pass on to them.
Happy New Year from cultureinfusion.com