The ability to develop leaders is an important attribute of leaders; like begets like. We are all leading to some extent and we all reproduce after ourselves. Christians are actually called by Jesus to make disciples, not just to be disciples. We don’t create clones, though, but influence people to become better versions of who God has uniquely called them to be. Leadership is influence and those influenced will become influencers. Intentionality requires us, though, to identify strategies for the focused shaping of leadership. Here are some useful practical keys I have adopted in identifying and CRAFTing potential leaders.
- Capability – I want to know that a person has the basic skills needed to be an influencer. These can be taught – if we fail to believe this, then we will never invest into some people – but many skilful people can be led, rather than just managed. Competence in people skills and not just technical skills is essential to effective influence and those without it will often damage others. The key is to see some in evidence and then to develop more. The key to developing particular people in the right way is to see what skills are in evidence and what should and should not then be developed.
- Reliability – If there isn’t basic integrity in a person to do what they should do or what they say they are going to do, then this flaw will be further exposed under pressure. If potential leaders can’t submit to reasonable authority and to the basic demands of responsibilities then their credibility will evaporate. Naturally they will make mistakes and we all have legitimate excuses at times. However, justification, angst, disorganisation or forgetfulness tend to create a ceiling on people’s growth.
- Availability – Some people have skill and integrity, but they are just not available. They can be punctual and professional and great with people, but if their time demands and other responsibilities negate their potential, then investment in them may cause frustration for you and others. Such people are, of course, still valuable and seasons may change, but as potential leaders the time may not be right. We cannot push people against their wishes so as to have them accept what we might believe is in their own best interests. For people who are Christians, I want them to identify what God is saying to them and not simply what I am saying!