Leadership Development for Dummies

Sorry if the title is crude, but leadership development may not be as difficult as we often make it out to be. One of the number one questions get about leadership is how to develop new leaders within an organization. The task seems overwhelming. Maybe it doesn’t have to be.

Leadership development begins with an understanding that the success of any organization depends greatly on the leader’s willingness to delegate responsibility to others in the organization. The attitude of top leadership is vitally important to developing new leaders.  The more a leader tries to control, the less likely others will be to help him or her accomplish the vision. Without people willing to follow a leader, there is no leadership development. (For you pastors who reject this idea, please read Exodus 18 or Acts 6…or just follow Jesus through the Gospels.)

I believe the best leadership development is accomplished by allowing others to gain experience by doing, therefore we must find ways to allow others to lead. The good news is that delegation can be simplified into two words.


Invest in others so they understand the vision of the organization and have the resources, skills and authority to accomplish their assignment.

Release them to add their strengths, creativity and energy to accomplishing the vision.

I realize this is a very simplified answer to a very complicated process, but perhaps simplifying leadership development is needed to ensure we tackle this necessary part of growing a healthy organization.

Have you made leadership development a more complicated process than it needs to be?

Are you holding other potential leaders back because you will not release them to lead?

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6 thoughts on “Leadership Development for Dummies

  1. love this post – I struggled with releasing leaders in the beginning of our ministry. Once I finally caught hold to this model of training and releasing, our ministry multiplied.

  2. Good points, Ron. Our school district is dealing with new leadership in several top positions. I am seeing some good changes and am forming a deeper appreciation of good leadership. One of the biggest pluses I see is strong leaders know how to move things along. I know I have been on committees that get bogged down with the same things being said meeting after meeting. I imagine this tendency is one that most leaders have to deal with, so your invest and release principles may help in alleviating this problem. Thanks!