This article holds the key to developing leaders.
Got your attention? Good! Now let’s be honest, there is no way that this article holds the key to developing leaders. If it did, I would totally sell that “key” for a hot billion, buy a private island, and tweet about it until my dying day. Now hear me when I say that I completely understand that each one of us wants to be great leaders and we want to develop great leaders. After all, as church leaders, that’s what we’re supposed to do…right?
While we many of us understand the mechanics and techniques of leadership, the reality is that we still struggle to inspire, recruit, and develop those around us into the leaders we dream of becoming ourselves. Now before all of us become depressed at this thought like a poorly written young adult novel, there’s hope, because before we develop great leaders we need one thing…ready for it?
When I became self-aware as a leader the game changed for me as a developer of leaders. I began to understand where I was in my own process and where I needed to go. As the adage goes, “You can’t lead someone to a place that you have never been.” That said, here are a few things that I like to keep in mind as I develop others through becoming aware of my own process. Ask yourself:
- What's my hand?
Am I am closed-handed leader or an open-handed leader?
A closed-handed leader is one that doesn’t release responsibility to their followers, and when they do, they micromanage the process. This kind of a leader will disempower those they are developing.
An open-handed leader is one who releases responsibility to their followers. They develop the person they mentor to a place of excellence and then release responsibility to them, thereby taking ownership of the process of the mentee and not micro-managing it.
- Do I parent leaders or do I empower leaders?
Neither of these are wrong, but realizing which you are will help you to understand how to develop your people.
Parenting leaders: Those that parent their followers as they parent the many, but empower the few that draw themselves close to this type of leader.
Empowering leaders: Those that empower their followers as they empower the many, but parent few that draw themselves close to this type of leader.
- Am I a beekeeper or a watchmaker?
The difference here is the difference between trust and mistrust, and leaders can smell mistrust from a mile away.
A beekeeper works with the bees to get the job done and can walk away and trusts that the job gets finished.
A watchmaker can only make or fix so many watches by himself and trusts no one to get the job done except himself or herself.
What’s written above is merely the starting point as you allow God to work on you so that you may work on others. Regardless of where you find yourself, know that it’s never too late top change and to become the leader God has created you to be and to be the leader the leaders that you’re developing need you to be.