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How to Develop Leaders at Every Level of Your Organization

people May 03, 2022

There are two categories of team members— products and projects. 

Products are seasoned leaders, with experience, who can “plug and play” anywhere. They can hit the ground running without a lot of training, without much coaching, without much correction. 

Yes, they need the relationship— and ongoing connection. But they are leaders.

Projects are people who aren’t seasoned leaders, people you must manage. 

It’s important to note that PROJECTS don’t necessarily become PRODUCTS over time, simply by “doing the time” in the industry or even with your organization. 

As one leader said, “Most people don’t have 30 years of experience. They simply have the same 2 years of experience repeated again and again over time.”

The solution? 

Every PROJECT needs a PRODUCT overseeing them.

The reason organizations often get stuck?

We call it the “Steve Jobs Syndrome.” When Jobs led Apple during his first tenure, he sat at the top to the structure and had every great idea. He was a PRODUCT. Throughout the organization he had many PROJECTS.

When he bounced back for his second run, the one we all remember (and use devices and technology from), he placed PRODUCTS throughout each level of the company. 

Entrepreneurs are PRODUCTS. 

But, they’ve got to lead— not just create ideas. And that means they’ve got to develop other PRODUCTS (or find and recruit them) throughout their team. 


Here’s how to do it:

#1 = Maintain the right balance between PRODUCTS and PROJECTS.

#2 = Place PRODUCTS at every level in your organization, so you have leadership throughout the structure.

#3 = Provide curriculum (standardized training) to your team. 

Think of these as the ABCs of training: 

  • Articles
  • Books
  • Courses 

This helps you “normalize” conversations about 

#4 = Celebrate the wins. 

Here’s why: what gets celebrated gets done.

Don’t wait for a “perfect” outcome to acknowledge progress. Celebrate milestones AND right actions when you see them. 



Your call action

Identity 3 resources you can place before your team over the next 6 months. And, begin dripping the resources to them. It might be a book you read together a chapter at a time, a podcast you each listen to and discuss, or even this resource. 

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