One of my favorite leadership authors is back! I am excited to be participating this week in the launch of Leaders Made Here by Mark Miller. I love Mark’s work and this is no exception. Mark truly gets what it takes to be a great leader and create more leaders, not just followers. Mark’s work is easy to relate to as he uses storytelling to reinforce the messages and lessons that he wants you to learn. He is an author that I consistently recommend to others.
The following is a guest post from Mark Miller.
(Originally published on greatleadersserve.com)
Do You Need More Capacity?
Recently I’ve had questions from leaders who are familiar with some of my past work, specifically, The Secret of Teams and Chess Not Checkers. If you are not, here’s a really quick overview: one is about the power of teams and the other is about the largely untapped potential resident in our organizations at large. The questions I’ve been asked: “How are the two ideas connected?”
For many years, I had not even considered the connection. My initial efforts were to help leaders who were struggling with capacity issues. Let me explain.
Let’s establish an imaginary scale to represent an individual leader’s capacity. To make the math easy, let’s set that at 100 units of leadership or 100 ul.
As long as the business or organization requires less than 100 ul, everything is great. Then one day, due to increasing complexity, volume, or customer demands, the business need for leadership surpasses the capacity of the individual leader. The new level required is now 120 ul.
Many of you have been here. Your first reaction may have been to work harder. That may increase your leadership capacity to 110 or 115, but your health, your family, and your quality of life begin to suffer – and you realize it is still not enough.
Ultimately, if you don’t address this leadership capacity shortfall, you will become the lid on your organization. That’s when many leaders decide a leadership team would be helpful. And if built and led well, it will! That’s the topic of The Secret of Teams.
With a High Performance Team, your collective leadership capacity may reach 500 ul. At this point life is good… for a while. Then, for any number of reasons – success, unexpected hardship, or just sheer complexity, the demands of your business increase again beyond the capacity of you and your leadership team. Let’s say the new level of demand is 1000 ul. What should a leader do?
My recommendation is to change the game. Rather than continuing to focus on leadership capacity alone, begin to pursue organizational capacity as well. This will require a transformation in thinking and action. This new strategy, to build and sustain a High Performance Organization, becomes the on-going job description of your leadership team. This is the journey I outlined in Chess Not Checkers.
High Performance Teams create the capacity needed to build a High Performance Organization. Keep in mind, neither are the end goal – both are strategies to ensure sustained superior performance.
Mark’s New Book: Leaders Made Here
If your organization is struggling with its leadership pipeline then Leaders Made Here is a must read! Here is a quick synopsis:
Every organization dreams of having enough leaders. Yet most take a haphazard or inconsistent approach to leadership development. They either assume they can find new leaders when they need them, or they believe leaders are born, they can’t be made. The consequences of this thinking are devastating, creating a perpetual shortfall of high caliber leaders; yet without them, no organization can thrive. The good news: this problem is solvable.
Bestselling author and Chick-fil-A executive Mark Miller describes how any organization can create a culture in which leaders are routinely and systematically developed, resulting in a surplus of leaders. Miller details how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks. He provides a game plan for organizations to create a deep and effective leadership bench.
To bring his ideas to life, Miller uses the story of Blake, a new CEO, and Charles, and old friend and colleague, as they search for best practices from around the world to ensure a continuous supply of their most precious asset leaders. Blake and his team then translate their findings into a practical plan that any organization can use to create a leadership culture that will ensure a sustainable competitive advantage and long-term success.
You can check out a sample chapter here.
About Mark Miller
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.
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