Learners to Leaders

Last week I did some teaching as part of our Church ‘Lifeshapes’ series. I have mentioned lifeshapes before, it’s a great course, with some really good teaching that is based on how Jesus lived his life with teh disciples. A  lot of the models (or shapes) work well in the secular world too.
Anyway my session was on the Square: ‘Learners to leaders’. The whole thing is based on how Jesus taught the disciples, in four stages from the beginning when he was doing all the doing and they just watched, to the end where they were doing and he had left them to it.

The thing that I really liked about this teaching is that it makes the point that we are all leaders in our own ways, in our own worlds. Because so often we label people as leaders (and boy do I hate lables..) and we pick out those who naturally fit the mould, but actually we all have talents and gifts that can be useful in leadership, in so many different areas. And likewise those who are natural leaders often fall down in one area. (bet you can all name a boss of yours who has trouble delegating…)

My favourite example is that of parents. Parents are leaders whether they chose to be or not, because they teach their kids on a daily basis. They lead them to know the difference between right and wrong, they teach them how to get dressed, how to go to the loo (oh the lovely potty training phase, loved it!), and as they get older they begin to let go and let them learn more for themselves.

It occurs to me that so often in business people are obsesed with getting the right leader, a natural leader, one who scores in the right area of Myers Briggs and so on. But the real experience, the stuff of daily life is ignored. So often women who have been out of work having kids are discounted because they have a lack of experience, or someone who hasn’t been on the ‘right’ management training course is put to the bottom of the pile. I wonder how many people never get the opportunity to fulfill their potential, because they ahvent ticket the right boxes…

Last little note, some food for thought:
In my research for this talk I loooked up the definition of ‘leader’ in the dictionary. One of the definitions was this:

Leader: shoot of a plant at apex of the stem…

I love this because we are all shoots from the same branch aren’t we?

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