Top 5 Reasons we Fail to Develop Leaders

September 8, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership Development

There’s a lot of talk about the desperate need for leadership development these days, but many are so paralyzed by the problem that their not taking steps toward solutions.  So what keeps organizations from really making progress on this important challenge?

REASON #1 -No System or Strategy

Everything we do in life has a system or process, developing leaders is no different. If you leave leadership development to chance then odds are you won’t be successful in the long term replication of leaders.   QUESTION:  What is the intentional process or strategy for developing leaders in our organization?

REASON #2 – The Wrong mindset

Some people are actually afraid to raise up the leaders.  I’ve heard leaders say, “This is my job and if I train someone to take my place what will I do?”  (Yes I actually heard someone say that out loud) Others think, “Leadership development…that’s someone else’s responsibility”.  QUESTION:  What mindset do the leaders in our organization have about leadership development?

REASON #3 – Short term thinking

Some will says, “We have enough leaders right now.”  Drill this into your thinking, “Recruit for tomorrows growth, not just today’s need.”  If you have a ministry of 30 people with 5 leaders, then recruit as if you had 60 people and needed 10 leaders.   QUESTION: Do our leaders recruit for today’s need or tomorrows growth? 

REASON #4 – It’s Not a part of Corporate Expectations

Ram Charan in Leaders at All Levels says, “Leaders at every level play an essential role in identifying and developing other leaders’ talent.  This is a new way of looking at a leader’s job.”  Charan goes on to advocate that developing leaders should be an actual part of every leaders job description.  QUESTION: Is there a written expectation for our team members to raise up new leaders? 

REASON #5 – A Focus on Doing ministry rather than Developing Leaders

Sometimes we get so busy doing the work of the ministry that we neglect the work of equipping others to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-12).   QUESTION:  What percentage of our time do we devote to developing future leaders? 

What are other reasons you see that organizations fail to develop leaders?

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

One response to Top 5 Reasons we Fail to Develop Leaders

  1. I think another reason we fail to develop leadership is because it takes a lot of energy to do so. I’ve noticed with my family that when I’m not getting enough sleep or eating a lot of junk food, I just don’t have the physical energy to spend time developing my kids — it’s much easier to veg out infront of the television and eat more junk food — thus continuing the cycle.

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