Delegation and developing new leaders

A few weeks ago, John Mitchell sent out a coaching nugget on raising up new leaders. The emails his team sends out to their students leaders are very good. I asked him if we could post his nugget on GodSquad.

Our Student LINC team read the email and took some time to discuss it during our weekly working lunch that we call Chip and Dip. These lunches become something of a think tank where we enjoy analysizing issues and solving problems. We came up with several ideas about delegation and developing new leaders:

  • Invite others to go along with you when you are doing things like putting up posters, scheduling a room, etc. Never do these alone.
  • Rotate leaders every year. It helps to have fresh blood in leadership.
  • Designate an apprentice. Have a this leader-elect shadow the leader to learn what to do and catch vision.
  • Teach our leaders the visibility/risk grid. Divide up functions based on low to high risk and low to high visibility. Know what each student is capable of doing.
  • Think through who else in the ministry that we can shephard as potential leaders.
    Talk about transitioning leadership early. Make sure the handoff of responsibilities is thorough and early enough.
  • Look to those who are doing evangelism as potential for leadership in the future.
  • If there are no prospective leaders coming on, guide the present leaders in doing some launch-type activities to uncover another leader.
  • If you don’t have the right leader in place, ask him or her who the people are that are leading outreach and/or Bible studies. You can call them to offer suggestions for their roles. You want to make sure that they are leading with our DNA in mind. Feel free to ask how present leadership and the ministry are doing. This is a further way for you to give input to others and have your eye out for future leadership.
  • It is important to get the right leader from the beginning. It is okay to say “No.” and raise the bar high for leadership. They may disqualify themselves. Or they may be someone who can connect you to the right leader.

The Biblical principle “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much,…” (Luke 16:10a), is very instructive here. We want to create lots of opportunities where many students have various small responsibilities. Then we seek to grow their ownership and responsibility with growing risk and visibility. Leaders are made not born. They are developed, they don’t just appear on the scene. And these leaders can be developed by other students. Let us keep thinking about potential tactics for delegaing responsibility and trusting God to develop our up and coming leaders.
Besides the John Mitchell nugget, there is a very helpful resource on delegating responsibility is on GodSquad. For a fuller treatment, see Eric Swanson’s letter on Effective Delegation.

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