Leveraging Leadership Development Golden Opportunities

While they may not say it out loud, many people feel like they don’t have time for leadership development. This mentality underscores a fundamental misunderstanding that training leaders always necessitates long hours of teaching and instruction.

Each day there are golden opportunities all around us we that can leverage as teachable moments. But if we’re not looking for them we may totally miss them. They come in the form of a conversation in the hallway, someone popping into your office to ask a quick question or a casual conversation in the middle of a ministry event. These “teachable moments” can take place every day if we simply take the time to look for them.

When someone walks into your office frustrated because they can’t seem to complete an important project, their frustration has created the perfect soil to plant a leadership principle. Now all you have to do is speak into that moment. One small principle given at the right time can sink into their thinking and stay forever.

I will never forget the time I was overwhelmed striving to fulfill a portion of the vision God had given me for my ministry. One of my key leaders sat me down and said, “Mac, if it were easy to be great, everyone would be doing it.” That simple phrase radically transformed my perspective and gave me the leadership fortitude to push forward despite the challenges and opposition. That phrase comes back to me anytime I’m feeling defeated, and it pushes me forward.

A simple principle, idea, or concept spoken at the right moment can give your trainee a totally new perspective and change the way they lead.

Here’s a simple formulate for maximizing on these types of leadership development golden opportunities.

  • Listen closely to their frustration or challenge.
  • Ask questions to get greater understanding of why they’re frustrated and solutions they’ve already tried.
  • Ask them what options they feel they have to overcome their challenge.
  • Affirm what they’re doing right.
  • Share insights from your leadership experience that will add value to their leadership skill.
  • Ask them what leadership lesson they’re learning.
  • Have them write down the key next steps that will help them put into practice what they’re learning.

Look for some golden leadership development opportunities this week, you may be surprised by how many you will find.

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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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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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