Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Organizing Your Leadership Thinking

Leadership is a complex and challenging subject to grasp the whole of the topic.  All one has to do is to look at the shelves of leadership books in the local bookstore to see that few are attempting to address the entire subject.  They each take a slice of broad subject, dissecting their particular piece of interest, but failing to address where this fits within the whole.

Some time ago in a brainstorm session with a colleague we attempted to address the subject of leadership as a whole, breaking the topic down into its major components.  After much thought and debate we came to these four big categories as a way to think about the subject of leadership.

Leadership Outline

  • Leadership Thinking – KNOW
  • The Leader – BE
  • Leading – DO
  • Developing Other Leaders – REPRODUCE

The US Military Academy has some of three of these components in their outline of the subject as described in the book, The West Point Way of LeadershipTheir outline of Know, Be, and Do is a great developmental model for general leader development.  But as Kingdom leaders we must add one additional topic – Reproduce.

By looking at the perfect Kingdom leader, Jesus, we now see the complete outline of the subject of leadership and leader development.  Jesus spent a great deal of His leadership developing the next generation of leaders who would carry on the movement after He was gone.  It is the responsibility of Kingdom leaders to develop more leaders.

As you think about your own development as a leader you will want to focus on these four general areas of leader development.  As you think about developing other leaders you will also want to think about these four areas.

When mentoring another leader often their felt need is for leadership skill development.  Perhaps the main reason for this felt need is the fact that new leadership responsibility often comes with deadlines.  Thus the pressure to grow in a previously unknown skill to meet our deadline.  That’s why the bookshelves are full of ‘how-to’ leadership topics, for the authors are often addressing the felt needs of the readers.

While leadership skills are important, we must not neglect the other three areas of a leader’s development.  We can have wonderful leadership skills, for example, but no character to support them and end up with tyrants or dictators.  All four areas are necessary for good leaders and leadership.

How’s your thinking about leadership?  Can you point to the gospels and identify where Jesus demonstrated these four areas of leadership?  Can you also see where He addressed these same areas as He developed The Twelve?

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2 thoughts on “Organizing Your Leadership Thinking

  1. Konstantin on said:

    Now I finally got where the topics of your blog come from, Tom. It helps me to grasp the whole picture and miss not the #4 — Developing other leaders — Reproduce. Thanks for reminder and also for questions for further reflection on the example of Jesus.

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