Learning From a Different Place – Part 20
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

John Maxwell’s Law of Explosive Growth was a hard law for me to embrace. As a young leader, I knew I needed to train and empower people. I knew that each of my team members needed to succeed for our company to succeed. The leader-follower model was all I knew, and I felt this was the best approach to long-term success. What I missed was the awareness that the leader-follower model allows you to add growth, but for explosive growth, you need to attract and grow leaders. Leaders who attract followers like to be needed. Leaders who attract and develop leaders like to be succeeded.

In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John identifies that leaders who attract followers work on improving the bottom 20% of an organization, while leaders who are developing leaders focus on the top 20%. They also focus on the strengths each new leader possesses. The goal is to help them make the most of their giftedness. This mindset shift has us focused on the development and growth of those most capable of taking our organization to the next level. Some might quickly say, what happens to the other 80%? As you develop the top 20%, they begin mentoring and developing the next 20%, and so on. When this development system is in full swing, explosive growth can be achieved.

Now for the warning. Leaders are hard to keep. They will stay as long as you can help them grow. As soon as they feel they are growing beyond the organization, they will look for another leader. To solve this problem, we as leaders must continuously grow and develop. We need to show excitement for learning new things and passion for our mission. This will keep our best leaders engaged as we change our companies and communities together. Remember, leadership development compounds. The more we invest in people, the longer we invest in them, the greater the return.

Next week we end this series with The Law of Legacy.