HIGHER THINKING BLOG
Producing and Multiplying Leaders By Alex McElroy
Are you producing leaders who produce leaders?
A lot can be gleaned about producing leader from baking. In both of these endeavors, if you don’t fully comprehend what you’re creating then you won’t know if you’re doing it right or wrong. The goal has to inform the process. One young lady wrote about an instance where her goal was to produce bread – preferably the edible kind. She wrote,
“My only memorable baking disaster was when I forgot to add yeast to the bread dough and ended up with tortillas. I couldn’t figure out why the bread was flat until I found the yeast packet hiding under a kitchen towel.”
The moral of the story is that if we don’t add the correct ingredients we will never produce the desired result.pTo produce means to make or manufacture from components or raw materials or to cause (a particular result or situation) to happen or come into existence. Therefore, if we are producing something, in this case a leader, we are working with someone who at the start does not (at least not fully) have what they will eventually need to lead effectively. Furthermore, we are aiming for a particular result, which is for them to have what they need – not just to be a leader, but to produce more leaders.
However, something is implied in this production process. You can’t produce what you don’t possess. If the goal is to produce leaders that produce leaders you have to give tools to those you lead that make them more than just followers of you. There is a purpose in producing leaders who produce leaders, which is that leadership properly expressed puts more people in a position to excel in all facets of society.
Whatever is in your roots will determine the kind of fruit you bear. The last thing to sprout on an apple tree are the apples. Fruit doesn’t grow until the branches are there to support it. The branches are only formed after the trunk has risen to a certain height. The trunk can’t grow until the roots are established. In order to produce leaders who produce leaders, you and I have to examine what we possess in our roots. I’m not talking about our family tree. I’m referring to what values make us who we are. What skills can we impart to other leaders?
Oftentimes we judge people for the behavior they exhibit or the things that they say. However, those things are typically the result of a much deeper issue – a flawed or damaged root structure. Whatever comes out of your mouth began as a thought. That thought was likely the result of a previous lesson learned. If that previous lesson was untrue or flawed it will one day grow up and become a hurtful or harmful action. As leaders let’s examine our own root structure so that we only produce what should be reproduced.
The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are both connected by the Jordan River. The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Tiberias, is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and is teeming with life. The Dead Sea is the lowest saltwater lake in the world and no plants or animals can dwell within it. So why is one sea lifeless and the other full of life? The Sea of Galilee has the Jordan River flowing into and out of it while the Dead Sea only has the Jordan River flowing into it. It has no outlets. As leaders, the more outlets (i.e. leaders being produced) that we have to pour into, the healthier we ourselves become.
We live in the most information rich era in the history of the world. Dominick Barbato wrote,
“A person in the 15th century would need their entire life to be exposed to the amount of information that the average person today experiences every day.”
So at times it isn’t a question of ‘is information being poured in’ but what is the source and quality of that information. Leaders need to help the leaders they are producing sift through the information clutter to find the life-giving rivers of information that will sustain them throughout their journey.
As previously stated, the desired outcome will be the measuring stick to determine if the correct result has been achieved. We all have influence but leaders are in the unique position to exert their influence in larger and more significant ways. This is why the result can’t be to simply produce a bevvy of leaders but to produce leaders who have the proper character, values, work ethic and vision.
Leadership is never mastered. It is refined. Therefore, the production of a leader needs to begin with the ingredients of knowing the purpose for your lane of leadership, the particular vision you have and how you desire to exert energy in a specific area of influence. As you mature, grow deeper roots and willingly submit to the pruning required to bare more fruit you will in turn produce more leaders.
Alex McElroy is an international speaker who has taught thousands of people how to lead and live out their purpose in life. He is a passionate speaker, teacher, leader, business owner, author, as well as a faithful husband and a devoted father.
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