We are an impatient people “among whom I am chief”.
Just a few moments ago, in fact, the internet connection at the local coffee shop I am currently sitting in began acting up. Loading a complex page on my MacBook took a grand total of 2 seconds and frustration began to mount. Patience may not be a common virtue in our culture but it is a necessary one. Few areas demand the “patience of Job” quite like the arena of leadership development.
1 Commitment to Make Before Developing Leaders: I will be patient.
Developing leaders demands “slow cookers” not microwaves. This is critical to keep in mind as you raise up and train leaders in your organization. Leaders are developed more by their environment than their education. Or to put it another way: leaders develop and grow as they absorb leadership culture within a developmental structure. This demands the one thing we are so often unwilling to give: time. Ask yourself this question:
Are you willing to labor to create a leadership pipeline knowing you will not see immediate fruit? Let leaders simmer.
Creating and implementing a leadership development pipeline requires a commitment to patience. Usually, when I speak to fellow church leaders or business leaders about the necessity of leadership development their first question is: “How can I fix my leadership issues quickly?” The answer is usually: “You can’t”.
A commitment to leadership development is a commitment to the long haul.
It is a commitment to pouring your life into a leader, creating a healthy leadership culture to place them in, giving them room to lead and fail and then coaching them to learn from those failures.
Developing leaders is a marathon, not a sprint.