#3 – Provide potential leaders resources to grow during their discretionary time.
I was having lunch with an author who is well known for his writings on the topic of leadership. We were talking about leadership development when he said, “Mac, as I am sitting here with you I am developing leaders.” I responded, “Okay, you have my attention, help me understand how to do that.” He said, “Right now people all over the country are reading my books, so even though I am not with them at this moment, I am training them.”
To increase our leadership development impact we must provide potential leaders resources that stimulate their learning even when they are away from the “teacher”. Too often our concept of training is limited to “classroom time” or time when the learner is with a mentor. But I have learned I can expand my influence on a learner by 4-6 hours a week when I give them a reading assignment from a book or other resource
Jesus couldn’t give his disciples a book or a CD, so he would teach them using parables. These short memorable stories would be filled with tension or paradox and would cause them to go away and think about what he was teaching. In fact, Mark 4:33 says, “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything.” Jesus intent was to get his followers to think for themselves and wrestle with the principles he was teaching. Then later he would discuss and explain it to them.
A big part of our leadership development process at Seacoast is providing online content that our potential leaders can access at any time. Each training session consists of a short video teaching, Scripture reading with reflection questions, a case study and an article. Learners can study this content at their own convenience and then meet with their mentor to discuss what they learned.
You don’t have to have an online delivery system to train leaders, just choose a few books or resources you want your potential leaders to work through. The key is putting resources in their hands so they can continue to learn even when they are not with you.
What books and resources do you commonly give the potential leaders you are mentoring?