I’ve been thinking a lot about investing in other leaders lately. The old saying has been rolling around in my brain: “The church is always one generation away from extinction.” While I know that God ultimately determines the timing and the future of His church, the point still stands: if we fail to invest in future leaders, then we’re really not being disciples who make other disciples.
In conversations I’ve had, the biggest challenge is not desire. Most everyone wants to invest in other people and form deep spiritual friendships. The challenge is most often identifying people who are “on the way up.” When a new leader emerges, it is easy to say, “Oh, yeah, that person does have leadership potential. I wish I’d noticed it sooner.” What is harder is to identify someone in the early stages and be able to say, “That is a person who needs some investment. I’m going to take a chance on them.”
So how do you identify people who have leadership potential? The number one quality I look for is this:
People who have an understanding of themselves–of their strengths and weaknesses–are people with potential. They’ve demonstrated a desire to grow and develop, and they are usually ripe for input and investment. If you find a person with self-awareness, you’ve likely found a future leader.
What about you? What qualities do you look for?
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to investing in future leaders?