Five Reasons You’re Not Getting Leadership Development Results

You’re spending time, money and man power trying to develop leaders in your organization but your leadership pipeline remains dry and devoid of any new potential leaders. Why aren’t you getting the results you want? Here are five potential problems you should consider as you evaluate your efforts.

  • You’re trying to develop leaders too fast. We want leadership development to be fast, easy and linear. But the truth is it’s slow, messy and customized to the learner. True development takes time. When we rush development we short cut the process and don’t get the results we’re looking for.
  • You’re not using a reproducible model. If you survey your staff you’ll likely discover that each are using different processes to develop leaders. Left to their own they had to come up with something, so they did. And now there are varying levels of success across the organization. But no one has every stopped long enough to ask, “What are the best practices for developing leaders in our industry?” I’d recommend you communicate, coordinate, collaborate and develop a reproducible model you can use across all departments.
  • You’re building your development on the shoulders of one person. We love it when there’s one person in our organization that’s a leadership development machine. It comes natural to them. They’re passionate about it and there’s a constant outpour of new leaders coming up behind them. This is a huge benefit to an organization until that person leaves. Building a culture of leadership development requires building an army of leadership developers in your organization.
  • Your training isn’t adding value to your leaders. I hear this comment all the time, “We tried getting our leaders together for development but they stopped showing up over time.” Listen carefully…People will attend things that add value to their lives. Stop blaming them for not showing up and take a look at what you’re delivering. Was it boring? Was it irrelevant? Was it all lectures? Did it violate adult learning principles? Could they apply the principles in their leadership at home, work and ministry? Make it valuable and they won’t want to miss it.
  • Your training is not accessible. Leaders today need options. Offering training at one time in one location is restrictive and inhibits people from participating. Leadership development will have broader impact when it’s delivered anytime, at any place and at any pace. This means less control and will require more leaders willing to invest themselves in reproducing new leaders. But with new tools such as Ministry Grid, a new online leadership development resource by Lifeway, accessibility to leadership development increases exponentially.

If you’re not getting the results you want then take time, evaluate and make adjustments. Allowing your leadership pipeline to remain dry is damaging the future impact of your mission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mac Lake

Mac Lake

Mac is a pioneering influence in the church planting movement. In 1997, he planted Carolina Forest Community Church (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). In 2004, he began serving as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church (Charleston, South Carolina) where he served for over six years. In July 2010, Mac Lake joined with West Ridge Church to become the Visionary Architect for the LAUNCH Network. In 2015 Mac begin working with Will Mancini and Auxano to develop the Leadership Pipeline process. He joined Auxano full time in 2018. Mac and his wife, Cindy, live in Charleston, South Carolina and have three children, Brandon, Jordan and Brianna.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Dale Suslick — 05/27/14 5:37 am

Much here and all good. Somewhat bottom line is leadership involves intentionality? What I learned at the recent EFCA Church Planting Boot Camp was lessons similar to running a 14 location, 146 team member, $4,000,000 small business. Church planting and/or leading a church that actually is the hope of the world involves massive effort, focus on details, and extreme trust and faith of God and the Spirit to lead you. Does that make any sense!? My ENFJ Briggs temperament can confuse people!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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