Those of us who have been around leadership for any length of time know, that our goal is not to lead so as to create more followers, but to lead in way that creates more leaders.
Leadership that relies heavily on you to generate the ideas, create the vision and oversee it’s implementation is a limited and narrowly focused leadership. More importantly, it is a leadership (and thus an organization), that cannot be maintained for the long haul.
Asking ourselves what type of leader we are, should take us back to the question I asked in segment #1 of my video teaching series; “The Timothy Leadership Sessions”. That question is: “Why do I want to lead?” For a full vetting of that question, watch the video, but in summary the only right answer involves the desire to positively impact the lives of others…And while that includes being a part of providing someone’s basic needs of food, shelter, being cared for and being known, it goes much further than that.
Among the most important goals of leading others should be unlocking their potential, teaching them what you know, and then empowering them to do the same. This is what I touch on in the final leadership segment of those sessions which is entitled: “Next Level Leadership”.
In 2nd Timothy 2:2, Paul says this better than I ever could: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others”. You see, Timothy “heard” Paul say these things. This means Timothy was along for the ride, literally…he was present as Paul led.
The lesson here is that as leaders, we should not walk alone. In other words, don’t just teach or tell someone the way to go, show them by bringing them along as you lead.
We can learn a lot from geese…Yes, geese. Most of us know that geese fly in a “V” formation. The leader flies at the point of the “V” for a period of time, then drops back while another goose takes his place as the leader. This is done primarily, to share in the additional energy needed in order to lead. The lead goose bares more of the wind resistance and ultimately needs others to shoulder that burden.
When we bring others with us as we lead, and ultimately allow them to carry some of that leadership, we encourage and empower their leadership, and conserve our energy to be able to continue to lead for the long haul.
Don’t like the goose analogy? Well how about this…For three years Jesus taught, showed and literally lived with His disciples to prepare them for what would become their leadership journey of a lifetime. Since there was no better leader, there could be no better model; so how about you and I follow it as we partner with others, in their leadership journey of a lifetime.