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Let Your Leaders Lead!

Nothing frustrates leaders more than not letting them lead. This doesn’t mean letting your high capacity people do anything they want, but they need to lead. In fact, if you don’t let them lead, they will begin to resist your leadership, and eventually leave.

Fear and insecurity are among the top reasons leaders don’t empower others on their team to lead. Fear and insecurity in small dosages, in different seasons and circumstances, is normal for all leaders. But when it begins to creep up in scope and intensity, the resulting internal pressure often causes leaders to attempt to control people and circumstances. Pressure can cause you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do, including control, and trying to control the leaders around you never works in a healthy environment. (Not only does it not work, it’s exhausting.)

In nearly every organization I’ve coached there is a corresponding relationship between training and control.

If there is more control, there is less training.

If there is more training, there is less control.

More Training, Less Control

Here’s how it works. The more you train your leaders, the less you need to control them. The less you train your leaders the more you may feel the need to control them. Now let me ask, how well does control really work?

Think of it like parenting. If you trained your kids at a young age, you don’t need to control them. But if you didn’t train them, by the time they are teenagers it’s too late. They can be out of control. You can attempt to control them, but it doesn’t work.

No one wants to follow a controlling leader. And everyone loves to be on a team where the leader trusts and trains for the desired outcome of empowered leadership.

Equipping or Developing Leaders?

Training is an umbrella term that includes both equipping and developing. This is essentially the difference between the two:

• Equipping is training people to accomplish a specific leadership or ministry task.

• Developing is training (investing in) people for their personal growth that impacts the larger scope of their life and leadership.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.