I am disappointed and sometimes even disturbed when leaders speak disparagingly of other leaders. Now, let me set the record straight, I too have been guilty of this culpability. Leadership requires growth. Great leaders want and strive to grow, constantly reading, attending improvement workshops, surrounding themselves with mentors and other leaders who have complementary gifts and traits. We all have our weak spots and our comfort areas of leading. Some need a little more prodding or nurturing than others for growth.
As a leader, it is my obligation and responsibility to assist other leaders in striving for improved leadership skills. If they are within my area of influence, I can and should offer (formally or informally) assistance. In my particular role, I am privileged to coach leaders. Included in the coaching role you will find some mentoring and leading by example. As I coach, I should be demonstrating quality leadership traits. Some leaders that enter a coaching relationship with me catch it. Perhaps one of the greatest compliments received in this type of relationship is, though you have never talked about the coachee improving his leadership, he states, “He changed my style of leadership for life.”
Regardless of our position in life, one objective should be to have something similar said of us. There are people watching us at all times. If we are in an official position of leadership or not, part of our daily living should be to aid in the betterment of everyone in our influence. A good question to ask ourselves is, “How can I offer encouragement to this person in personal leadership skills growth?”
Not all persons in leadership have the desire to grow, but all leaders do. There is a difference. Persons in leadership positions are not always leaders. A title does not make a leader. Willing, teachable persons can grow in their leadership skills, and it is my obligation to help him/her. Not only an obligation, but it should also be my pleasure. I like to use the statement, “What God has given me, He gave it not for me to hoard, but to share, to give it away.”
I will never force my leadership training on anyone. Quality Leadership cannot be force-fed. It must be delivered in a manner befitting of the learner’s appetite. Jesus taught His original Disciples by having them follow Him in His daily routines. They did life together. It is not necessarily yours to spend 24 hours a day with those you are training in leadership, but are you living life together? Little about effective leadership is taught in the classroom. We can read and be instructed on the principles and manners of leadership in a classroom typesetting. Yet, the adaptation of leadership traits only takes place as we interact with others in real-life situations.
As a leader what will you do to assist someone in growing in his/her leadership abilities? What will you do this week to redeem a struggling leader?
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.