Are You Developing Leaders, or Leading Followers?
One of the key responsibilities as a leader lies in our efforts to produce leaders who will one day replace us. Failure to do so is a certain path to future destruction of our ministry. How can we do this? Create opportunities to develop gifts and interests, and challenge followers to rise to new levels of competency. 1) Delegate tasks- This is an absolute necessity. The surest route to failure lives in the subtle whisper that says “I must do this myself.”
2) Explore interests and talents- Newsletter? Find someone who is good at graphic design, journalistic writing, or editing. Whatever opportunities are available, allow others a venue to show their abilities and grow their skills.
3) Cultivate a safe environment for failure- The greatest danger to creative thinking is the fear of failure. Make sure others know that failure is not just okay, it is a necessary part of learning and growth.
4) Learn how to encourage without compromising excellence- Not a natural encourager? Learn how to focus most on what people do right, and affirm that both before and after offering critiques and suggestions for change.
5) Accept that different does not always mean wrong- Often others will approach a problem or assignment in a much different way than I might. However, if the goal is accomplished, give others freedom to reach it their way, resisting the urge to force them into your mold.
All these suggestions require a certain amount of risk on the part of the leader. But without risk, there be no growth. A business or ministry is a living organism, always moving, changing, and shifting. Without growth, it will eventually die. A mentor of mine often said to me “I’m trusting God in you.” It was a great reminder to me and to her, that as we follow Him, He causes the growth. So what feels like risk becomes opportunity. Give your followers opportunity, and they will become leaders.
By guest blogger Jennifer Callaway, currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, obtaining her Master’s Degree in Media Communications.