February 23rd, 2023

TJ Kastning

The greatest improvement in 2022 we see for our clients is to invest heavily to scale leadership impact by hiring, developing, and retaining leaders who can perpetuate the company vision at a larger sustainable scale. Make middle management great again!

There’s no lack of work out there. There’s a serious lack of engaged talent. Leadership is the solution. The vision, alignment, accountability, and mentorship is what defines special companies. Companies that are fun to work in and make solid sustainable profits.

The average company owner starts a company, gets work, and grows because of that work. Many will never realize they are not in the X widget-making business, they are in the leader-making business. Many “leaders” are actually the “technicians” referred to in the great book E-Myth. More doers than leaders.

Sure, they can tell people what to do. Sure, they can feel like they are in charge. But they cannot lead through layers of leadership without losing their company mission if there clearly was one. They cannot protect their company culture and core values in growth. Their people see little morale good in their work. It’s a means to an end for everyone. Money.

For those at the top, leadership development means starting with yourself. This means aggressive accountability for your own faults and weaknesses. Some of those weaknesses are simply the other side of a strength. Some are blindspots. They are costing you time, money, and happiness.

As a leader, you are NOT the total solution to solving all your company’s problems. If you think you are, you will build a company that requires exhausting micromanagement, fails to retain developing leaders, and experience less joy at work.

This is how I watched my father run his business for 20 years. 20 years of grind. Brutal. It’s no fun, even if you can work hard enough to make it work-ish.

You ARE the people developer. You are the human investor. You are looking for a good return on your mentorship. You are helping other people go further in their career/life/development than they thought they could. You are an encourager, an advisor, a help, an asset, and a trainer.

You are building a team of people that can accomplish FAR more than you ever could.

The tyranny of the urgent will hamper you. Fires always need to be put out. Reading books, hiring coaches, mentoring leaders can always be pushed off.

“I have work to do.”

Leadership is your work.

Some leaders run around telling the time. Some leaders build the clock. Are you a watchmaker or a timepiece?

Step back. See the whole picture. Elevate others. Don’t take easy ‘I’ll do it myself’ shortcuts to productivity. You have to stay on the sidelines, in a sense.

Turn your org chart upside down. You are the chief enabler. Your customer-facing people are the most important people in the company.

Are you doing enough for them?


Leadership only develops when one realizes how much more a lack of leadership will cost.

  • Leadership podcasts
  • Books
  • Coaching
  • Emotional intelligence development course (recommend Kelley Ashby)
  • LEAP Leadership Acceleration Course (recommend Kim Liefsen)