need leaders?

“Think of a time when you were most developed.  What was true of that situation?”  The group was quiet for a few moments, then eyes brightened with the memories, smiles grew, and laughter followed as one by one, they started to tell their stories.  This group of leaders were reliving formative moments as we discussed leadership development.

“Someone believed in me.”

“I had a chance to lead something I never thought I could do. I was on my own.  The decisions were mine and I felt that.”

“While I had the authority, my leader was also available to me if I needed help.”

“I had no support at all!  That’s what made me grow!”

“He kept telling me, ‘you can do it.'”

“I made some big mistakes, but I learned.”

These were the common responses, true in many of the stories.  These leaders grew when they were entrusted with responsibility for something they had never done by someone who believed in them.  Many leaders tell similar stories.

What prompted this discussion?  The lack of leaders!  As a leader, it’s easy to get focused on the task that you’re trying to accomplish.  But no enterprise grows unless the leader invests in his or her people. Often our best next generation leaders are sitting right under our noses, but we fail to give them the opportunities to stretch and develop.

Jesus did this a lot with His people.  In Luke 10, He sent out seventy two disciples to proclaim the Kingdom with only some simple instructions.  In fact, He has entrusted us with the greatest task, and says, “I will be with you always.”

Without some intentionality, we may find ourselves with no one to take up the baton when we’re ready to step aside.  To have sustaining work means investing in people to build their leadership.  Who is in your sphere of influence that needs to grow in faith and confidence?  What real work can be entrusted to them?  Give it away and let them soar!

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7 Responses to need leaders?

  1. terry morgan says:

    Resonates and challenges! Thanks, Andrea! I’m going to save this one to refer back to many times!

  2. gregstoughton says:

    Thanks Andrea. I love how God develops us in so many different ways. We do well do remember His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts and give Him free reign to grow our hearts and employ what gifts He has given.

    • Andrea says:

      He does, indeed. I like that too. He has a customized plan for each of us. Even as I’m writing, I’m remembering comparing notes with new staff friends who had such different situations. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Anne Marie Winz says:

    I experienced a leadership FAIL this week. Our small group is saying goodbye to one of our members who is moving away. More than a week ago, I sent an e-mail asking people to think about gift ideas. I didn’t follow up early enough in the week. Finally, the group had a robust discussion via e-mail yesterday.

    Because we were in a hurry, I made the final decision, ordered the present online, bought the card, and took care of another piece of business for the group, all by myself. It’s done, but I didn’t give away the work to anyone else in the group. I know better. Ugh!

    Andrea, how do you remind yourself to lead intentionally? (I am really appreciating the content of your posts. Thank you!).

    • Andrea says:

      well, I can certainly relate, Anne Marie. I have done the same on too many occasions to count. Learning to give others an opportunity to do things you can do well yourself is as much a habit as anything else. One thing that helps me is to ask myself: For whom might this be a good opportunity? The more I ask it, the more of a habit it becomes.

  4. Pingback: the Leader Impact-5 (LI-5, v 1.8) | Leader Impact

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