Pipelines create a space where things move easily from point A to point B. Its very purpose and nature allows for things to pass through it towards a destination. This should be a reflection of our leadership. We should be developing people by taking them from point A to point B. People's gifts, ideas, and work should be propelling them forward and we should be invested in helping them get there. Pipeline leaders understand their role in developing talented people and see the significant value in it. If the people who follow you are experiencing the freedom to create, grow, and move forward, then you are a pipeline leader and people want to work for you.
The opposite of pipeline leadership is road block leadership. Nothing passes through without the leader's permission. Unfortunately for a road block leader, their own talent becomes the obstruction for everyone else. It was their talent that propelled them to a place of leadership, and rightfully so, however, with great talent can also come two controlling thoughts:
"No one can do this as well as I can, so I can't trust anyone else to do it without me."
"If they do it better than me, they could replace me and I won't be needed anymore."
This thinking causes all positive movement on your team to come to a complete halt. Road blocked. Why? Because personal development of the team falls to the wayside of your own self preservation. The result of being a road block leader will be losing your upcoming, talented people. These people will only stay for so long before they either find a detour around you or maybe around the entire organization. Leaders who protect their own end up alone. This means that if you are more interested in self preservation you are slowly draining the mission or organization of upcoming talent.