You’re kidding, right?! Now?!
Why would we select next year’s leadership with most of a semester left?
If you have leaders graduating this Spring, here are some things to consider.
Take time to think through those who already demonstrate spiritual leadership. Such leadership does not happen just by showing up or having a great personality. Leaders are developed. That happens as you delegate responsibility and watch how they bring their own vision and faith to the task. One way to make this more concrete is by considering the Visibility/Risk grid. Leadership naturally involves both increasing risk and increasing visibility.
I was recently voted in as chairman of a board. Leading up to that time, I watched the previous chairman closely and met with him for perspective and his input. When someone knows that they will be in leadership, they pay more attention to how the current leadership operates, knowing that it will be them leading in time.
If the actual transition of leadership can occur before the old leadership leaves the campus, I don’t think there is anyone better to cheer on and encourage that new leadership, as well as to offer help if they stumble, than those who just handed it off. They have a vested interest in the new team’s success. Leadership development and selection must be intentional.
One concern about turning responsibility over to new leadership is their readiness. In general, I believe we wait too long before giving responsibility to others. Yes, there are qualifications necessary for leadership. But often we neglect how much the new leader must trust God themselves. The faith factor is necessary for growth. Nearly everyone feels inadequate when they first step into a leadership position. What better place to be than to really have to trust God for wisdom and direction.
Eric Swanson’s excellent article on The Art of Delegation, offers some simple steps in delegating responsibility:
- Decide what needs to be done.
- Select the best person for the job. Let him/her know you believe he/she can do it. Trust is one of the highest forms of motivation.
- Clarify and agree upon the desired result and deadline. Major on what, not how—results, not methods.
- Define guidelines and potential pitfalls. Let him/her learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others.
- Establish level of authority, accountability, and method of evaluation.
- Identify resources—financial, human, technical, and organizational resources that he/she can draw from.
- Establish consequences.
We typically wait until the end of the year to hand off leadership. Those new leaders wait until next August to begin leading. That can be a rather difficult handicap to overcome given the spiritually challenging summers for many. Why not install them as leaders early in the spring when the example of the present team is still fresh in their minds. The old leadership can be there to encourage and answer questions.
Also, August is typically a high risk, high visibility time for the ministry. It is when you want your ministries to be firing on all cylinders. You want to hit the ground running in order to take advantage of that once a year opportunity of connecting with as many incoming freshman as possible. Why not use the Spring semester to help the new team function together and develop the plans that they will implement in August.
Spring Coaching Tips
Selected Tips from Fall 2016
- “Act as if it were true”.
- Ways a coach helps.
- Did you know…?
- Movement Leadership Forms.
- Ministry beyond ministry.
- Launch and Build Bridges Movements.
- Future Teachers Living Missionally.
- A Destino Multiple Movements Case Study.
- Freshman Takeover Night.
- Some ways to build student leadership.