Great Leaders are Always Becoming; They Never Arrive

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”                                ~Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss wasn’t far off when it comes to developing your own leadership skillsets. “You are the one who’ll decide where to go.” Yes, God is at work in you, but since He has called you to ministry He has called you to continually prepare.

Many pastors and church leaders are short term learners. I mean they only equipped themselves in one season of their life. We have to continually learn.

One of Disney’s leadership strategies courses begins with this statement, “In times of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

As I see many churches plateau and decline across Illinois it will take a new visionary pastor to see a new trend emerge. The good news is that each of us can grow our leadership skills and our capacity to lead change.

The leadership pipeline is one structured plan for your personal growth and for the people you are equipping. I am convinced that the work God has done inside me through the years as I have led is because the development bug bit me long before I knew its effect on my leadership abilities.

Becoming a great leader requires

  1. Humility- You have to realize you don’t know everything. It takes humility of heart to continually grow and learn.
  2. Discipline- You have to develop daily. It takes intentional discipline to consistently grow. Small consistent steps in the same direction will help you make progress.
  3. Structure- You need a plan or process to follow in your development. Many leaders will have some flexibility in the details of their development plan, but they still have structure to their development.

You will not become a great leader by accident. God puts people, books, podcasts, and other tools in our lives. We have to choose to grow. Your intentionality today will determine how much you grow.

Here is the Leadership Pipeline with skills for each level of your development. It is important to view this pipeline through two different perspectives.

One is your personal perspective. This is where you are becoming a great leader.

The second is through the perspective of people in your church or organization. This is where you are equipping others to become great leaders.

Leadership Pipeline

Director of Leadership Development, Illinois Baptist

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