Be an Increasing Leader, Not a Reducing One


I recently heard of an associate pastor who moved from one church to another. His new pastor was different. The associate pastor said when his new pastor spent time with him, the associate pastor was always waiting for the negative bomb to drop. His anticipation of some rebuke or negative comments was strong, yet it never came. In his former setting, this did not happen – ever. His former pastor was a reducing leader. His new pastor is an increasing leader, desiring to build up and encourage the associate pastor.

You might say there are two kinds of leaders in this world. Those who increase and those who reduce. Neither of these terms, increasing or reducing, have to do with the leader him/herself, but how the leader impacts those whom he leads.

Reducing Leader

An organization where morale is low and turnover is high will likely have reducing leaders/managers. While all reducing managers do not intentionally operate this way, it is what they have learned and is their leadership or management practice. Reducing leaders drain the morale and capacity of others.

Some reducing leaders have the need to be the smartest person in the room (organization). This is detrimental to productivity of individuals and the organization. Reducing leaders make a habit of devaluing or negating the input of others. Multiplying leaders on the other hand understand the wisdom of combining the knowledge of everyone in the organization.

Increasing Leader

An increasing (or multiplying) leader is always investing in others, helping them discover and build on their capacity. Multiplying leaders understand there is more effective organizational productivity by increasing the capacity of knowledge, skill, and work ability in each employee or member of the organization.

People want increasing leaders, they abhor decreasing leaders coming around their work station. People are invigorated by increasing leaders and welcome his/her presence.

Not only is the sum greater than all the individuals, the capacity of each individual increases as they interact and combine energies with one another. This in turn increases the capacity of productivity within the organization.

Becoming an increasing leader (a multiplier) is a choice that anyone in any position can make.

Research shows that most organizations never get more than two-thirds of the potential productivity from its employees/members. I would venture to say that in churches that number is likely only half of that or thirty-three percent. Perhaps we need a more encompassing multiplying leadership practice in our churches as well as other organizations to increase effectiveness and productivity. Productivity in the church is to fulfill our purpose, The Great Commission.

What will you undertake this week to become a multiplier?

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