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4 Idols That Kill Leadership Development


  • If someone else does this, I won’t be needed any longer.
  • If someone else does this, people will think I am not doing my job.

If you have thought or said either of these, you likely love to be a leader so you can be seen as a leader. You love your title (leader) more than your task (developing others). Augustine wrote, “No one can be a good bishop who loves his title and not his task.” A leader whose chief desire is to be perceived as a powerful leader will ignore the greater and more important work of developing others.


  • It would take too much time from other things for me to develop leaders.
  • I would have to adjust my leadership approach to include others.

If you have said or thought either of these about developing others, your desire for comfort or the status quo is keeping you from doing the difficult, messy and painstakingly slow work of investing in future leaders. A longing for comfort will keep a leader focused on the short-term, the temporary and the easy. Leadership development is none of these as it takes time, has eternal ramifications and is hard work.

Are any of these idols stopping you or your team from developing others? We are wise to heed the apostle John’s encouragement: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” If we don’t, we will neglect one of our chief roles as a leader.  

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Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, he served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary and has authored or co-authored several books, including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.