The best leaders are the ones that reproduce themselves. They don’t just have a succession plan, they create an atmosphere of multiplication many times over. These are the leaders that make themselves dispensable. The men and women who function out of a deep level of personal security. They strive not only to do a great job themselves, but they love to see others excel as well.
Because they enjoy seeing others succeed people want to be around them. This type of leader selflessly helps others acquire skills needed for the work, thus freeing themselves to move on to other projects.
Over the years, I have worked hard at being a leader who catalyzes a movement of leaders. Along the way though, I have hit some personal roadblocks to being that type of leader. In that process I have identified seven qualities that I believe are essential to being that 'multiplication' leader.
Here they are… easy to write about but it has taken a lifetime to live them out:
- Identify your identity. Decide, do you want to be the “main man,” or do you want to be the one who raises up and empowers others? How you see yourself is what you will reproduce.
- Start with the end in sight. Is the main goal just getting the job done, or is it reproducing more leaders, who can also get the job done, in the process? The end goal will determine the path you take to achieve it.
- Decide if you want a big movement or a big meeting. In the church world it’s a choice between big meetings or a big movement. In the corporate world you need to decide, will you build vertical or horizontal? If your dream is to build a big corporation (church, organization, company) the drive to accomplish your dream will send a message to other leaders that they must “fit-in” or move on.
- Lead by not leading. Multiplication leaders figure out how to lead from behind. They are willing to take the risk of letting go of the reins in order to empower others. They can live with and function in chaos and uncertainty in order to create momentum.
- Dream big but build small. A movement that attracts lots of leaders needs a big dream. Visionary leaders are not attracted to small vision. How you build the big vision needs to be in small increments… small groups, small endeavors, small obedience’s. Some of those “small” things you build will grow and even out-strip what you do… that is a compliment to you!
- Look for opportunities for others, not yourself. Leaders of leaders are not focused on themselves, but on others. They are constantly on the lookout for potential leaders. They see beyond weakness to potential. They are positive by nature. They are optimists about people.
- Invest in people not buildings. We need buildings to get the job done but every far reaching movement must decide which takes priority: people or property?