The Leadership Development Escalator
This week during our What’s Next Leadership Community hosted by the team at Perimeter Church, one of our speakers was Scott Wozniak from Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a is an organization built upon a rich culture of leadership development. Scott shared some of the principles related to high performance teams, which have fueled the growth of their organization over the past few decades.
One of the metaphors Scott shared regarding leadership development was that of an escalator. He commented that “some escalators move faster than others, but sooner or later, everyone gets off at the top.”
This is true for every organization. Each leader in an organization will, at some point, move out of leadership. Successful organizations have a continual flow of leaders in process who can step in and fill leadership gaps within their organizations at a moment’s notice. Many organizations, particularly churches, don’t think about leadership development until there is a crisis. Then it is too late. As I’ve heard it said before, “The reason you don’t have the leaders you need today is because you weren’t developing them yesterday.”
Most leaders assume you can simply hire from the outside to fill a leadership gap. While it is possible to do, issues of culture and fit make that a risky option, both for the organization and the individual candidate. What is better is to engage in the hard work of identifying and raising up leaders from within. As Scott went on to say, the key to keeping the leadership development escalator full isn’t the top of the escalator, it is the bottom.Image Source: www.kpbs.org