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Our Teams Should Be The “Go To” Team For Future Leaders

“The mark of a great team is not just about the numbers they produce. It should also be about the leaders they produce.”

Another person left the team. They were the fourth person in two years. The team’s response? They celebrated. Do you know why? Because all four individuals left because they received promotions. Their departure wasn’t a situation in which they were running away from the team or the company. Instead, team members were moving up the chain of command into new roles with greater responsibilities.

The mark of a great team is not just about the numbers they produce. It is also about the leaders they produce. Great individual contributors who don’t develop beyond their current level may be helpful for the current situation, but they end up clogging the system in the future.

Some leaders hold onto their best people for too long. This, however, is a short-term solution. Those leaders are only focusing on what those people can accomplish this month or this year. They don’t see the long-term possibilities for the team and for the larger organization.

It is a leader’s Duty—their moral obligation—to invest in each individual’s growth. If a team member is not growing under our leadership, we are not leading. The greatest teams and leaders are the ones who produce people who are ready for the next level.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski provide excellent examples of this. Both of these college programs have become great sources for the NFL and NBA to find their next All Stars. Both of these coaches see their role as developing their players. They do not want to just win a game now—they want to coach winners who can deliver in the future as well. They prepare their players to have a bigger impact at the next level. As a result, both those programs consistently find the most talented high school players wanting to play for them—thus guaranteeing the team’s continued excellence.