Monday, February 10, 2014

A Culture of Leadership Development

The U.S. military is one of the most prolific leader developing institutions in the world in part because each promotion provides a new set of skill competencies and increases the number of people being led. Early officer promotions are almost certain but the higher the rank the more stringent the promotion requirements.

Most of the time I've heard leader development in churches made as an announcement: Hey, we need some people to volunteer to teach, or lead a small group, or  be an usher, etc., etc.

What if we began to think of developing leaders in a more consistent, intentional manner? Could it be possible to provide, through increasing levels of responsibility and numbers of people, a pathway for leaders to follow that provided them personal development, experience, and a sense of confident growth?

Kairos is working with a number of churches to create leader development pathways. Here's the general model:

Across the bottom are personal leader development stages. Any person can move through all five of these stages at whatever level of leadership of which they are capable.
Emerging: these are people who are developing a self-identity as leaders. They move in and out of leadership roles as they explore the fit of being a leader.
Developing: these people view themselves as leaders and they are developing their leadership skills in small groups, Bible classes, and performing entry level leadership tasks. They are learning what is required of leaders and developing basic leadership skills.
Recognized: these people have gained enough skill and experience so that others, those they lead and those who lead them, recognize their leadership abilities and give them ongoing leader responsibilities.
Experienced: these people have become effective leaders in their roles and have a well developed set of leadership behaviors, skills, and experience.
Mature: these people lead confidently and capably at their level of leadership.
Up the side are four levels of leadership. Levels are based on both the capacity and capability of leadership with which any given person is gifted.
Doing: technically this is not a leadership level because a person may be doing a task yet not leading other people. This level sets below the heavy line which distinguishes between personal leadership and leading others.
Directing: this is where the leader begins leading others, providing them the direction they need to accomplish the doing tasks.
Planning: leadership becomes more complex at this level as the leader now leads not just people who are doing, but other leaders. At this stage a leader is involved in higher function planning and organizing that requires more complex leader ability.
Generating: leaders at this stage now work in abstract areas of creative thought. They are able to bring solutions to organizational problems. They create new ministries, activities, and events that do not yet exist but that will propel the organization forward. Leaders at this level may also create entirely new organizations.

This simple pathway provides a way to visualize how leaders can be developed.

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