“Leadership is not an exclusive club for those who were born with it. The traits that are the raw materials of leadership can be acquired…link them up with desire and nothing can keep you from becoming a leader. Leadership is developed not discovered.” A truly born leader will always emerge but to stay on top natural leadership characteristics must be developed. So the question is this: How do we develop our leadership qualities, characteristics, and leadership skills?
There are the 3 E’s of leadership development:
- Environment…it what people experience: I have found leaders that are developed because they are in some kind of leadership environment…this is incarnational. This is how leadership is fleshed out: leaders do what leaders experience…they see it around them and they feel it. They understand it, not because they sat down and took a lesson on leadership…they understand it because they were around leaders. They understand it because leadership principles and values were talked about…lived out, fleshed out, embraced.
Incarnation is connecting abstract ideas to human characteristics. Taking something that is subjective or an abstract idea and flesh it out until you can see it visualized in the life of a person or the characteristics of a person’s behavior. Leadership is more caught that taught. How do I inject leadership into that environment? Understand if you can create the right environment it would allow you to understand leadership and you would become a part of it. Leaders do what leaders experience.
- Cognitive. Our intellectual world…it’s the education…it’s the intentional education that all of us have. Such as…school or formal education or in your family.
- Our psychological world…feelings and attitudes and emotions. You can’t flunk attitude or effort and be successful.
- Physical world…our material world. Wealth, health, what I would call tangible assets. To whom much is given…much is required. It’s not for self-consumption…we’re to be a channel not a clog…we’re to be a river not a reservoir.
- Spiritual world…or transcendent world. Our higher power…things that are eternal. What is your purpose…your calling…your giftedness? It is created in a good leadership environment.
- Social…or people world. Family, friends, community, work. In this social environment who are you around…birds of a feather flock together.
Here’s the assignment. Write a game plan for each of the 5 environments. I suggest you do that as a parent and in your business.
When matching people to roles in an organization, it is not enough to weigh what it is they have done in the past. To get the right fit, it is crucial to consider what they could do if the environment allows them to flourish. That’s what environment does…the right environment allows people who are good to get better…just like a wrong environment allows people who are good to become worse. For a flower to blossom you need the right soil as well as the right seed. Environment is essential in developing leaders.
- Equipping…it’s intentional…leaders teach and do what leaders learn. Leaders produce more leaders…not more followers. Equipping begins with expectations and continues with training and teaching people along side of you until they can do the work themselves. The Law of the teacher…If you stop growing today…you stop teaching tomorrow. Methodology and personality cannot be substituted for this principle. You cannot communicate out of a vacuum…you cannot impart what you do not possess. If you don’t truly know it, you can’t give it. As a teacher, you are primarily a learner. Telling is not teaching; listening is not learning; we learn to do by doing…training is interactive.
- Leadership determines growth…what you lead will grow and it will work. If it doesn’t, you’re not a good leader. That is an expectation that begins with equipping.
- Leadership can be learned…by influencing people.
- Each leader equips leaders…watch 1, do 1, teach 1
- Exposure…it’s the inspirational side of developing leaders. Leaders do what leaders see and experience in their own life. Expose means to make accessible to some action or influence…to be exposed to the “works” of leaders. Invest in your people.