Why Leaders Don't Share Leadership

Why Leaders Don't Share Leadership

And why they should.

A communal or shared approach to leadership is threatening to some leaders. High-control types fear that the purity of their vision will be compromised. Others would rather delegate to others rather than develop them.

Here are some common reasons why leaders, including small-group leaders, fail to share the leadership load.

  • Loss of control: "Who knows what will happen if I let him/her lead?" There is always risk in leader development. Others will likely disappoint you. When that happens, remember the early days of your own leadership journey.
  • Feelings of inferiority: "What if my protégé is a better leader than I?" This is actually called "success" in leadership development. If this is true, light that candle; don't pour water on it. Feeling threatened is not the mark of a quality leader.
  • Self-centeredness: "I need the attention and I like people depending on me." Ok, so we are all narcissists at some level. Let others shine. The day will come that you will be so glad they are getting the attention. And you can focus on your next vision.
  • Feelings of Inadequacy: "Why would anyone want to learn leadership from me?" Some leaders wonder if they have anything to teach others. Here's the reality: if you have been leading, you can be teaching. Everything you have done is really part of a learning laboratory for leadership. Got to school on it and pass it on.
  • Fear of Failure: "What if I pick the wrong person and they screw up?" You will both learn a valuable lesson. The leader gets wiser in choosing protégés, and the apprentice learns from mistakes, or has to develop character, or might discover they are not a leader (at least in this context).
  • Short-sightedness: "There just aren't any other leaders around." Some team leaders believe no one can lead like they can, and therefore there are no prospects. Remember, a prospective leader is not the most capable person in the room—they are the most teachable. Look at what people can become, not just at what they have done.
  • Misperceptions: "People just don't have the desire to help!" Sometimes we think no one wants the burden of leadership. In reality, we just have not asked. We do not invite people into the drama of leadership development because we believe that secretly they hate the idea. Not true. So many people feel unworthy to lead; but if you believe in them and call out the best in them, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many respond and will work hard at it.

Ready to share the load? What stands in the way? Who is your next apprentice?

—Dr. Bill Donahue, Ph.D., is author of many books, including Leading Life-Changing Small Groups. Article excerpted with permission from www.DrBillDonahue.com.

Related

Clearing the Way for Small Groups
Clearing the Way for Small Groups
How small groups became the central ministry at Zion Church
5 Ways to Invest in Your Small-Group Ministry This Summer
5 Ways to Invest in Your Small-Group Ministry This Summer
Now is the time to build up your ministry for a strong fall launch.
5 Ways to Develop Your Leaders This Summer
5 Ways to Develop Your Leaders This Summer
Take advantage of the slower pace to thank your leaders and prepare them for fall.
Train Leaders to Study the Bible
Train Leaders to Study the Bible
Leaders who know God's Word encourage group members to engage Scripture.
Small Groups Matter
Small Groups Matter
Despite growing negativity, God is working in and through community.