Raising Up Leaders Are You Asking the Right Questions?
A few weeks ago I visited a dear pastor and a wonderful leader in the hospital. In the brief ten minutes I was there, he shared with me a story that prompted me to think about my leadership.
Raise Up Leaders
He said, “Wes, many years ago my leadership mentor told me pastors ask two questions at the end of each Sunday service. First, how many people were in attendance? Second, how much money was collected? My mentor told me to stop asking these questions, and instead ask: Am I raising up leaders?”
From my experience as a pastor’s son, I know those two questions are high on a pastor’s mind. As a leader, I am also aware there are many practical and routine questions I ask as well. “How many patients came into our clinic today?” “Are we meeting our budget?” “Are we meeting our patient’s needs?”
There is nothing wrong with these questions, nor is there any shame in a pastor inquiring about church attendance or the weekly offering. But what his short story revealed to me is a leader’s tendency to anxiously focus on results and goals at the expense of overlooking the condition of his or her people, particularly whether leaders are being raised. The secret to any organization’s success rests on the number of healthy leaders who are fighting to make the vision a reality.
Ask the Right Questions
So I want to challenge us today to be aware of what we focus on. We cannot afford to ignore the key goals of our teams, but we must not neglect to ask the right questions:
- Am I raising up leaders? As my pastor friend shared. But also,
- What is my plan to raise up better leaders?
- What can I do to attract quality leaders to join me?
Surround Yourself with Excellent Leaders
Here is my method for surrounding myself with great leaders.
- Hire seasoned leaders. When we hire proven leaders, we reduce our risk of ending up with someone who is unable to rise to the leadership challenges at hand.
- Improve your own leadership skills. Grow yourself. Healthy leaders attract healthy leaders. If you want better leaders around you, simply become a better leader yourself.
- Invest in everyone around you. Investing your own resources of time and money into the growth of others will help them improve their own leadership and strengthen the entire organization.
- Look for those who are ready to grow in their leadership. When people are eager to improve themselves and seek opportunities for growth, they are the most responsive to training and learning. Watch for these people and maximize your investment into their growth.
- Put materials in their hands. Make resources for growth readily available to your team. Make your expectations for growth known to everyone on the team.
- Coach people. Look for opportunities to coach or mentor those who are eager to learn. You will grow as well.
- Place people in leadership roles. Put people in positions that challenge them to practice their leadership. This is crucial. When people do not practice leadership, they rarely grow as leaders.
- Hold people accountable to leadership excellence. Like my mentor Rev. Rahme says, “Leave them alone, but not on their own.” Don’t leave the scene. When there is a lack of leadership performance, be there to gently guide and help them correct their path.
So, are you just asking how many people come in and how much money you raised? I hope that you and I are focused on one question above all else: Am I raising up leaders? And I hope our answer is yes.
For Further Reading: