The question above is posed by Bill Hybels in his book Courageous Leadership. If you haven’t ever read it, you should.
Hybels answers the question in a way that might surprise you. His answer is:
Leaders are at their best when they are developing other leaders.
He raises the point that “only leaders can develop other leaders…Teachers can’t do it. Administrators can’t do it. Mercy-gifted folks can’t do it. Only leaders can multiply the leadership impact by raising up additional leaders.”
So if you’ve been gifted as a leader, you have not only your God-given gifts, but you have someone in your past who spotted your potential and gave you opportunities or encouragement towards developing your gifting.
As leaders, each of us needs to be pursuing others who are future leaders. Hybels describes three steps:
- Identifying emerging leaders
- Investing in the development of emerging leaders
- Entrusting responsibility to emerging leaders (read what John Maxwell says about this step here)
It is the same steps Jesus modeled with the disciples, as he identified, trained, and finally deployed them to change the world.
So, the question now is: Are you at your best?
Who in your sphere of influence needs to be invested in?