If I could give one piece of advice for congregational leaders who wish to grow others into leadership, I would say, “Have one-on-one, personal conversations. Ask about their passions. Ask how they are doing. Focus on the positives while encouraging them to stretch and grow.”
A great model for this is in the book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman. Here’s a brief description from their website:
We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less.
Do you want to be a multiplier, but don’t know where to start? Unitarian Universalist and Leadership Consultant Karin Hurt gives this advice in her April 18 blog post In Defense of Wow: It’s Okay to Be Impressed:
Tips for a Good “Wow”
Pick something amazing
Say it loud so others can hear
Vary the recipients (don’t always chose John)