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Output is a referendum on process. It is difficult to judge the quality of a leader outside of the quality of their followers. That’s why I’m careful about wearing the toga of leadership or applying it to others. Our results should speak instead.

It appears the world has many project & product managers but fewer “people” leaders. Many have the capacity to deliver great projects and successful products. Others are effective at channeling their values and ideas in recorded format or through their behavior. However, only a few leaders know how to replicate other great leaders. These leaders excel at succession. (Succession keeps processes and systems going, as humans run systems.)

I think companies need to seriously check whether they are led by project, product or people managers. Each one has its place. But only people leaders can deliver on succession and ensure that companies last.

In the Nigerian government, we rarely have any of the leadership types – project, product or people leadership. We have followers who have the potential to become leaders, but who are not being developed and deployed. We suck at succession.

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