There are two types of great producers:
1. The producer who crushes it
2. The producer who crushes it, and pushes others
The first producer believes, if you want to be great, do what I do. No matter the skill. Artist, accountant, salesperson, surgeon. If you have the love, desire, and skill, just follow me, and do what I do.
When you have all the right people, leading by example is a great idea, and can work, except for when there are different personalities. Guess what? There are always different personalities. There are processors, procrastinators, goofs, etc.
We can test people as much as we want with Myers & Briggs, Wonderlic, etc. It doesn't matter. People can be great in one environment and terrible in another. It happens all the time.
So, while leading by example in theory is terrific, in reality, it just doesn't always work.
That leads us to the producer who pushes others. This producer doesn't have to be a manager, and typically they're not. They are top performers who grab coworkers, both rookies and veterans, and ask, "What is your deal? You have the ability to be great."
They explain the hard work they do. They ask questions about what is holding the person back. They explain what their a-ha moment was. They share stories about when they weren't sure they wanted to do the job, but dug in, and invested their time and energy to get better.
Too often people with natural abilities don't understand that, if they put in the extra time, they could be even better. People realize it in sports, but not so much in the workplace. Reading. Seminars. Listening to top performers. Webinars. Podcasts. It takes time and practice to truly be great.
A top producer can act like a personal trainer in the office and push people. That's what a true mentor does. Anyone can get on the elliptical for 30 minutes, but it takes someone to push you to hit the incline to 15, and go faster. It's a better workout, and as a result, you will eventually get stronger and be better.
Until someone tells you that looking at your phone all day kills your productivity, you may not believe it. If the obvious were obvious to everyone, the world would look a lot different.
If you are a real producer, push and challenge the people you know are high potentials. Challenge them to be better. Let them know that your success depends on them. Walk them through it. You have to know your audience. Pushing people who have a ceiling doesn't always help.
If you think you're a great producer, ask yourself, how hard do you really push yourself? Honestly.
Because when a team of producers are constantly pushing themselves and pushing those around them, great things result.