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The Most Important Word in Leadership Development

It seems everyone’s trying to figure out the leadership development challenge nowadays. But when you ask, rarely do you find a church that feels they’ve discovered the secret sauce. Because the need is so great they begin to act out of desperation and focus efforts on finding a program to develop their leaders.

Programs can useful tools, but ultimately we must remember that leaders produce leaders not programs. When we become program dependent we may be undermining the most powerful leadership development influence of all: leaders developing leaders. 

I think there’s one word that could radically change your leadership development efforts. One word that could impact your approach, free you from program dependence and actually begin to produce the results you’re looking for. But unfortunately when people hear this word they begin to immediately throw up excuses, get skeptical and look for another way.  W

hat I consider the most important word regarding leadership development doesn’t make the task easier but it does increase the odds of a successful development of new leaders. In fact, I think all organizations should make this one word a required element in their leadership development strategy.

What’s this indispensable word? With. Yes, that’s it. Think about it.

1. “Then he (Elisha) left, followed Elijah and served him.  (He was with him) 1 Kings 19:21

What ever happened to “With” in the leadership development process? What are you doing this week? Who is doing it “with” you? What do you want them to learn from observing you? What elements of your responsibilities can you give to them this week?

Give it a try and you may be amazed how much leadership development can actually happen during the “with.”

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Mac Lake is the Development Pastor at Seacoast Church, a multi-site church with 13 campuses, where he oversees leadership development, small groups, missions, communications, and internships. He is a popular church leadership conference speaker and the author of the training resource Growing Small Group Leaders. Learn more from Mac at MacLakeOnline.com.