Training a Team of Leaders


What happens when you train an entire company to be leaders?  That’s what Mid-States aims to find out.

The company currently has 10 people enrolled in leadership training based on John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, led by Jeremy Olivotti, Vice President of Preconstruction.  Olivotti is certified by Maxwell to teach the program.

John Maxwell is the top leadership expert in the world.  He has written more than 70 books and spoken to millions of people on the subject of leadership and what it takes to become a great leader.  One of the things Maxwell is known for saying is “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The Mid-States group meets once each week and training lasts for 11 weeks.  After the first introduction week, it covers two chapters of the book at each session.  The goal is for everyone to not only understand what good leadership is, but also to empower them to become great leaders.

“The dream is to have every employee go through it,” Olivotti said.

Leadership skills are useful at work, home and in all aspects of life.  Really, the course will help members of the Mid-States team develop not just into leaders, but the type of leaders people want to follow.

“We’re learning that the more we grow our people, the more fulfilled they are,” Olivotti said.  “The better they are at home, the better they are at work.  It’s contagious.”

The training offers a common language in which to discuss leadership.  The laws help people identify deficiencies, discuss them and, ultimately, correct them, making for a more positive company culture.

Olivotti is a firm believer that people want leaders who believe in them and want to help them achieve their goals.  This training program will help create that kind of leader here at Mid-States.  Among some of Olivotti’s favorite chapters to study are: The Law of Respect, The Law of Picture (people do what people see) and The Law of Victory (leaders find a way for the team to win).

“Leadership is defined as influence,” Olivotti said.  “Nothing more and nothing less.  We want to give our people opportunities to influence people in a positive way.”

The training sessions also allow the team to get to know teammates they might not get to interact with on a day-to-day basis and incorporates plenty of participation.  The group is very candid in discussions, leading to insightful, open and productive dialogue.

Now, you can’t have a company full of leaders and no followers, so the course also teaches participants how to be better followers.  Through the training, participants learn to understand what other leaders are trying to accomplish and help them understand what they need to do to support these leaders.

Some of us will lead at work.  Some of us will lead at home.  Some of us will lead our kid’s soccer team.  The important thing is we all lead by example.