Fixing Your Leadership Pipeline Problem

March 3, 2014 - Mac Lake - Leadership Development

It’s happened once again: You’ve lost a key leader and find yourself filling in and doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing. So, once again, you promise yourself that this year will be different. You’re going to conquer the challenge of leadership development and build a deep leadership bench – a pipeline for developing leaders – for your ministry.

Why is leadership development a reoccurring problem for so many? In short, it’s a lack of intentionality.  We know leadership development is important, but few leaders integrate it into their weekly routine. And even fewer develop an intentional plan that ensures an ongoing reproduction of leaders. It’s just too easy to be distracted by the urgent and allow the development of leaders to take a back seat to everything else. We feel stuck and we’re too busy to develop leaders, but we need more leaders to get all the work done.

In 2013, I begin working with Will Mancini at Auxano to provide a Leadership Pipeline Development process for churches. The process focuses on building a culture of leadership development and emphasizes four essential components of an intentional leadership development strategy.

Structure – How is your church structured? Just as our spinal structure can dramatically impact our mobility, our church structure can impact the development of new leaders. Most churches structure for function rather than for development.  An intentional leadership development strategy focuses on both function and development as they built their structure.

System – How do potential leaders move to new levels of leadership? It’s essential you have a defined system or map for moving leaders from one level to the next. The absence of such a system makes the leadership development pathway confusing and inconsistent.

Content – What skills are essential for every level of the leadership pipeline  As leaders move to new levels of leadership it requires new skills. Too often we simply throw them into leadership responsibility without proper preparation. An intentional Leadership Pipeline Development plan has defined exactly what competencies are required for various levels of leadership, and how to get them there.

People– Who is responsible for equipping new leaders? If that responsibility falls solely on the shoulders of one person, you will never build a culture of leadership development. The focus must be on raising an abundant harvest of reproducing leaders in your church. That’s when you will begin to fill your leadership pipeline.

Throughout 2014 I will be working with individual churches in six month iterations. During the six months you will get…

  • 20 Principles for creating a culture of Leadership Pipeline Development
  • Tools and techniques for developing leaders
  • A template to guide you in building your own systems
  • Development of a learning path for every level of your pipeline
  • An action planning guide for use between sessions

And as a bonus, my friend David Putman will be partnering with me during these sessions.  If you’re interested in participating in a six-month process for building an intentional Leadership Pipeline Development strategy, fill out the following and I’ll connect with you.

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

3 responses to Fixing Your Leadership Pipeline Problem

  1. Mac…you are to CHURCH PIPELINES what Pablo Picasso was to a can of paint. I’m SO EXCITED you’re going to be doing this!!!

  2. Haha that’s hilarious!!!

  3. “Hilarious” you say? Hilariously UNDER-exaggerated. You’re the man. If we hadn’t been spending the last 4 months building our own systems, we’d be on this like a cat on mice. Where were you in October!? Ha. Hope many take you up on your offer. Wish we had some of the “tools and resources” you speak of. I bet they’re awesome.

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