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Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Blog |

Leadership Development | Mac Lake

Leadership Development | Mac Lake

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Mac Lake from the Launch Network speak on leadership development.  If you haven’t heard Mac before, you’ve missed out.  Mac has lived in the world of leadership development in the church for a long time, and every time I hear Mac speak, he continues to deliver relevant, timeless principles on leadership.

In all, Mac shared 8 principles that are central to leadership development.  I’ll share four of them here:

Don’t focus on developing leaders, build a leadership development culture.

The first half of that statement sounds counter-intuitive, until you understand the difference between developing leaders (addition) and building a culture where everyone develops leaders (multiplication).  Mac says that the reason your church is short on leaders today is because no one built a leadership culture yesterday.  Think about that.

Develop leaders for vision, not for need.

The tyranny of the urgent derails a lot of great things in our churches, including effective leadership development.  Too often we only look at current need and line up leaders for that.  But once the need changes, we’re behind the eight ball once again.  When you start looking at your plans for leadership development, develop a vision for the next two years and start building for the future today.  Ask “What would we need if our church doubled over night?”

Leadership development requires a clear learning path.

Have you articulated the character and competencies you want to see in your leaders?  Often we have an idea of what a leader should look like, but we don’t take the time to develop a clear learning path that will move them toward that vision.  And we wonder why some of our leaders don’t seem to ‘get it’.  Mac poses a very practical question: “What are 5-7 skills you want for that person to have as a leader at that level?”  Do this for all levels of leadership and build your training and mentoring program around those skills.

Leadership development requires an inclination to see the positive in the person.

We have a tendency to point out what people are doing wrong.  The secret to leadership development is to point out a leader’s strengths and gifts and help them see their potential.  Benjamin Zander, conductor for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, points out that a conductor makes no sound.  His strength comes in his ability to awaken possibility in others.  In order to develop self-replicating leaders, we must see the potential God has placed in them, open their eyes to that potential, and inspire them to live into it.

As a preaching friend of mine often asks, “So, how are you doin’?”  Have you considered these principles for building a leadership development culture in your church?  What systems and structures do you have in place to develop self-replicating leaders?  What other principles are important to you?

Let me hear from you.