How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 13 The Holy Trinity of Delegated Leadership

If you give someone a position of leadership, they have what is called delegated leadership. They should have some latitude and you should definitely give them space to be themselves and be creative, but if you gave them the position and platform (and in some cases pay their salary) then their leadership is delegated and they need to lead people the way you want them led and leave their ego behind.

When you give someone a position of delegated leadership, you are giving them three things, and if any one of them is neglected then their leadership is wonky. These three things are:

  • RESPONSIBILITY. This is the easiest one to give someone, you want the people around you to be responsible and you expect it. To be a success in life is all about taking responsibility. You should be choosing leaders who are already responsible – for themselves, for their families, with their money, at their current career and whatever else they are doing. So, generally they take that responsibility into whatever task you make them a leader in.
  • EMPOWERMENT. This is hard for many leaders to give away. If you give someone the responsibility to get something done, you have to resist the urge to control every detail of what they are doing. People do not develop unless they have freedom to do things their way. You cannot give someone the responsibility to get something done with out giving them the power to get it done. That means helping them, empowering them, giving them the right equipment, ensuring others know they are in charge, and so on. Notice, one thing we cannot give someone is the power to be respected, but we can give them the right to be respected and the space to earn it. Part of responsibility is developing respect with others so that they follow.
    • We need to give people the position of power, ensuring people know the org chart and who they are reporting to and so on. Then you give people the capability of power – make sure they have access to training so they can do what you have asked them to do. As you hand these other, you expect anyone you have given delegated authority to develop true leadership by developing integrity, and character, and working on their walk with God and their love for others.
    • We need to make sure people have the tools they need. And more than one tool! This covers basics like a laptop or printer maybe, or a business card, it also includes books, training courses and seminars. Be creative in providing tools for your people. It’s one of your main jobs as a leader of leaders.
  • BOUNDARIES. Any authority that is delegated is not ultimate authority. It has boundaries. All authority has boundaries, a manager might be able to tell a worker to get a report done at 3pm, but he cannot give him work at 9pm after he has gone home. A pastor can stop someone prophesying falsely over others in the church service, but he cannot control what the person thinks or does at home. All authority comes with boundaries, and part of raising leaders is helping them see where the limits of their authority are. I have raised up many pastors in the last few years, and we have to make sure they know their authority over elders, deacons and people who come to their church is very limited with specific Biblical principles. Also, in the Tree of Life Family of churches, pastors are not free to run their services or small groups any way they want, they have some freedom but not absolute freedom, they have some power but not absolute power. People need to realize where their jurisdiction lies and where it does not, and that is not always instinctive and is something you need to think about when appointing people. When a pastor appoints elders, sometimes those elders think their job is to control the pastor rather than make disciples That person needs to be taught their boundaries and limitations.
    • Another aspect of boundaries, is making sure leaders are accountable. People should not be afraid of accountability, they should appreciate it. People need supportive, constructive criticism, and if you are the one raising them as leaders, it’s your job to provide it.

How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 12 Let them Do Things!

People cannot get better at doing things without doing them. You cannot learn to drive a car by reading a book. People forget a lot of what you tell them but when they are doing things they remember.

John Maxwell has a 5 M process to letting people do things, which I think is awesome and I try and utilize myself. Some people can do this instinctively, I can’t and need to keep coming back to this, and try and get it right again.

  1. MODEL. You do it while they watch. Make sure they see you start the process of. Don’t show someone how to use your church database unless you show them how to turn the computer on. People need to see every step to learn. When someone KNOWS it, next stage.
  2. MENTOR. You do it, and let them help. You at this stage tell people why these things are important. When they can see WHY, next stage.
  3. MONITOR. They do it, and you help. You also encourage the person while they are doing it and inspire them to keep trying and work at it. When they can do it CONSISTENTLY, next stage.
  4. MOTIVATE. They do it, you do not help – you only inspire and motivate and encourage. That’s it. Let them suggest ways they might be able to do it better and discuss those. When they can OWN it, next stage.
  5. MULTIPLY. Maxwell says this is the most important stage, when you encourage your new person to find someone to model the task to. Then you can get on with the stuff you really wanted to do in the first place.


How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 11 Relate to People and Expect Commitment

You cannot make someone a better leader if you do not relate to people. You need to see people outside of a workplace setting, you need to let people be in a place where their guard is down. You need a relationship strong enough with someone where they can stop pretending.

Do not assume because people are Christians that they are automatically authentic – they come to church and try to be who others want them to be. Someone recently told me I was hard to please and they had tried to be who I wanted them to be. I said just be you, and that’s good enough. But a lot of people are not at that place and you need to build a stronger bridge to them.

The better the relationships you have with people, the more likely they are to trust you with their life and heart, and the easier it is to transform them into a leader.

Make sure it’s not a one-way relationship either, let people know your dreams, and your struggles (use some wisdom, don’t share something that will crush people – I have to be careful for example sharing the bills that come my way as they burden some people so much). We need to share our hearts with people too!

Don’t try and make someone a leader without that relationship and without it being on their side too. Ken Blanchard says do not equip people who are merely interested in you, but equip people who are committed to you. We can take that and put it here in the context of developing leaders – some people are interested in you and what you do, others are committed to it. The way you tell is that people who are interested in what you do will get involved only when it is convenient. For example we have our annual summer family conference this week, some people will come no matter what, they will change their world to be there. Those people are committed. Others will come for a session or two, out of curiosity, if it doesn’t interfere with everything else they have on. Those people are interested. Our leadership conference Gates of the City, and our annual conference, really help me realize who is interested in Tree of Life and who is committed, and who to invest in as new leaders. Selah.

Unless someone is committed to you, they will never be a successful leader. Someone once said that some people are so uncommitted that if they were a kamikaze pilot they would be able to do at least fifty missions. I am not shy about letting people know it is hard work to be a leader. In my field, the church, I let people know being a pastor is tough. Doing it right is tough. Loving people and leading them to green pastures and still waters is not easy. Caring for people is not easy. I will not undersell how tough it is or what it is going to take, so that I only attract the committed. Of course, no matter what you say, people won’t realize until they are in the trenches, but at least they cannot say I didn’t say! If people will not commit, do not waste your time on them.


How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 10 Share Your Dream

You are a leader, therefore you have a dream. You have a great big dream driving you forward. Now is not the time of your life to keep that secret, and the people you are raising up in leadership are not the people to keep in the dark.

Dreams are fuel to the heart of leaders, so share yours. Every leader is a dreamer and dreamers are fed with dreams, so share yours. Your dream and seeing you walk it will only ever help those you are raising up as leaders.

It also means that people will know where you are coming from, why you do what you do, and what motivates you. That is only going to help build the kind of relationship that will absolutely help you raise up more leaders.

All leaders have a dream or they shouldn’t be leading. All leaders should have the ability to share their dreams and communicate them so that people can follow them and grow with them.

You need to dream, you need something inside you bigger than yourself. You need to feed your own dream, you need to make sure people are feeding your dream. You need to walk in your dream and you need to then feed it to others and inspire them. That is the process and if we all did it, we would all be so much better off.


How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 09 How To Pick a Leader

  • Is this person compatible with you? I mean it, someone might have great character and great capability, but if they are incompatible with you then you will not be able to help them develop as a leader. Someone might have the character to be a great elder, the capability to be a great elder, but if they cannot be an elder that embraces the values of Tree of Life, our philosophy, the things we emphasise, the way we do things, then I will not consider appointing, promoting, mentoring or training that person. If someone is not committed to doing things your way and flowing with you, there is nothing you can do to make them a leader. At all. Ever. No exceptions. No, not even one. No, not even that person. I know they are gifted but that is not enough. (I am assuming you know how things are done around where you are, and I am hoping it has been written down in some way!)
  • Is the person growing? Are they moving in the right direction? Are they reading? Are they developing? Can you see them grow? Can you see them making good choices to help them grow – are they in church consistently, what is the weakest excuse they have ever given you for missing church, will they be at Heal the Nations or whatever conference you run, or are they doing their own thing? Are they committed to growth?
  • Do I have a nagging doubt? Trust your instincts, and trust me it is easier to wait a few months to see what happens and appoint later than appoint quick and then try and un-appoint someone. Take the time to spend time with the person, see if you can catch them under fire – that is always a good time to learn about someone. What do they do when you are under fire, that’s another great learning time! Ask another leader their opinion of them. And always ask a woman’s opinion before appointing a leader. They see things men don’t!
  • Does this person have any strengths or just “no weaknesses”? One of the mistakes new leaders make is they appoint leaders because they have no weaknesses, but the problem is they have no strengths either, they are just average at everything, so they do an average job and the level of the church or ministry or company then slides down to the level of average, to mediocre, to “ok”. We are not in the business of ok, we are in the business of awesome!
    • Peter Drucker, the management consultant, shares a story about Abraham Lincoln who lost a number of battles because he appointed generals who had no weaknesses but no strengths either. THe Confederates on the other hand had great weaknesses, but had remarkable strengths. They were winning until Lincoln chose Ulyseese Grant, an alcoholic but a remarkable leader. I’m not saying appoint an alcoholic as an elder but make sure the person has some strengths!
    • China used to always dominate table tennis. Marilyn Hickey went to China and met the winning team. They were winning every event easily. She asked the coach how to do deal with their weaknesses and train their weaknesses, the coach said “we don’t, we work on their strengths and that is what makes them unbeatable!”
  • Does the person fit into your team? Does he have chemistry with you and the people in the team? I ask myself if I was due to have dinner with this person in the evening, would I be excited or concerned all day. We need teams of people who get along! We need chemistry in our teams! It’s obvious in football, but it’s the same in the church. Also does the person have complementary skills? You might have the three best strikers in the world, but you still need a good defender, a good goalie and so on! It’s the same in the church.

How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 08 Ask the Right Questions

It’s so important we ask our upcoming leaders good questions and make them think.

Also if you don’t know the people you are raising up, how can you know how to help them best? You could be teaching people things they already know or don’t need to know.

* What are you designed to do?

* What is the group you are part of designed to do?

* How do you fit in to the group?

* What is your top need?

* What is the top need of the group you are in, in your opinion?

* What area do you think you have the most need of growth?

* What are your strengths?

* What makes you really feel compassion?

* Do you have the resources and people you need to complete your tasks?

* Are you prepared to pour yourself out for other people?

* Are you committed to equipping others?

* Are you being effective?

* Who are you raising and recognizing as future leaders?

* Have you made any assumptions in that situation without getting enough knowledge?

I do not ask these of our leaders in an interview style – don’t suddenly start interrogating your leaders, but I hold them in mind and throw them into conversations, not word for word, but appropriate for the conversation. Those questions really help me raise up leaders. They will help you too.

How To Make Someone Else a Better Leader 07 Come Out of Hiding!

Sometimes when I preach, teach, mentor or help someone, I have to let them see me and how I faced a similar problem. It reminds me of the old Western movies, where both cowboys are hiding behind cover, and eventually one of them comes out of cover and gets shot. If I show you that I am human, that I have developed, learned, made mistakes, have been inconsistent, I come out of cover and I can get shot down. Recently, I told my Dagenham congregation I struggled for a long time with weeping with those who weep when the people weeping in my mind deserved to weep for the way they behaved, that the words “I told you so” would too readily come out of my mouth! I was being open, and although that made me vulnerable, it helped a lot of people grow the way I did when I admitted I had a process of growth too.

One of the reasons there is a lack of leadership in the body of Christ is we have not understood how to be open with one another, and been brave enough to let people get close enough to see who we truly are. If we do not let someone close enough to see how we don’t always get it right, we will never let someone close enough for them to see us do the job right. In other words, we will never be a model to anyone if we lack the character to let them get close enough to us to make ourselves vulnerable.

To raise leaders we must let people get close enough to see us model leadership. To watch us do the job, do it will, do it right, do it consistently – and get up again if we do it wrong. If we are not a model, we cannot be a mentor. We can have all the experience, all the wisdom, all the vision, all the stuff – but if no one is close enough to us to see that, it doesn’t work, and you are not raising leaders.

And the big barrier to that is you have to come out from under cover and be vulnerable enough to be shot. All my leaders know when I don’t know what to do, they know when I need to get outside help, they know when I am unsure on how to progress, they know when I know what the right thing to do is but need time to develop the moral fortitude to do it. But because they are that close, they are close enough to know that I often get it right, that I handle people well, that integrity, character, honesty matter to me, that I will seek wisdom, that I will keep going under pressure, that I have skills that help plant and grow churches. Can you see how both are consistently linked here.

Without people being close enough to see the flaws, they are not close enough to see your face, and they are not close enough to draw power from you and be equipped by you.

Now in balance, I am not saying open yourself up to everyone about everything. If you are a pastor of a church with more than a dozen people, someone would love to stab you in the back. I mean open yourself up to your key leaders, and sometimes to everyone. You need to be close enough to people for them to be able to see you, or else you are mentoring, equipping and raising up no one.

You have to get close enough to people to lead them and you have to get even closer to people to reproduce your life and gifting in them. If you are not seeing leaders raised up in your business, church or ministry, you need to consider if anyone is actually close enough to see how you handle things. The church needs delivered from the superstar preacher and pastor or TV minister who is so high up on a pedestal that no one can learn from them, hiding being “the secrets of the Lord” when asked how they do what they do. We will never change the world that way, we will never make disciples that way.

If anyone had the excuse for being a superstar preacher it was Peter. He spent three years as the de facto leader of the disciples of Jesus. He walked on water, he fed the five thousand, he did so much. He preached the first ever sermon in the first ever church service and saw three thousand people saved. But when he wrote Scripture, he said “I am a fellow elder” – in other words, he got into house meetings with people and spent time with them, sharing his life and his wisdom with people, getting close enough for them to see him.

We need the same attitude if we want to raise leaders. Selah.

How to Make Someone Else a Better Leader 06 The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle is often referred to as the 80/20 rule. which has a lot of applications. In terms of leadership development, 20% of the people in your church/ business/ organization are the top leaders of your organization, and you need to invest 80% of your time in them.

How Do You Spot the People You Need to Invest in?

  1. Choose people who are compatible with you. They value the same things, they care about the same things, they get excited about the same things.
  2. Choose people you genuinely expect great things from. If you do not believe in people, you cannot lead them. People know instinctively if you have no confidence in them.
  3. Work out what people need. You are the leader so lead – set the agenda, tell them what they need to work on, tell them what their strengths and weaknesses are, tell them what meetings they need to be at, tell them how to develop, encourage their strengths, evaluate them honestly and give them feedback.
  4. Do not continue investing in people who do not listen to you. I am a great preacher, and I also have a lot of experience helping people become better preachers. but when I platform someone from the church then offer feedback and they do not listen, I stop investing in them and stop platforming them.
  5. Take this seriously. Be available to the leaders you are raising up. The more committed you are to them, the better leaders they will become.

How to Make Someone Else A Better Leader 05 The More You Lead, the More You Need (Leaders)

Before Jesus Christ was born, the greatest leader who ever lived was Moses. He was the leader of two-three million people, and those people were faithless, whining, moaning, complaining, cowards! That must have been hard work, exhausting. Moses was getting more and more tired, and the people were not getting good wisdom from him.

The problem was Moses was not raising leaders. But Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, said “Moses, start raising leaders. Have a leadership training programme, a conference, do something, delegate some of the easier jobs.” Moses did it and now he was not the only one carrying everyone. The other leaders made Moses stronger not weaker, and enabled all the needs of all the people to be met.

Raising leaders is vital to any church or business success. I believe the most important thing a leader can do is raise more leaders. That is true fruit. I have pastors and other people in Tree of Life who know a lot more than me about doing certain things, and it makes my life easier. We need to learn to do this.

The sad thing is there are churches not growing, businesses not growing because the leader is too insecure to enable other people to lead. You have to as a dreamer dream bigger than your fears. If your fears fill your imagination you will not raise up others. You might be scared someone might betray you. Jesus had a Judas and you will probably have one or two as well. But wasn’t it better to have the eleven and Judas than just Jesus on His own. Whenever a leader betrays me or lets me down, I thank God for the eleven, the ones who are still with me, still loving Jesus, still serving, still helping, still walking in faith and love!

I want to encourage every leader reading this to take a risk with people. I don’t mean a stupid risk and appointing someone with ego issues to be a preacher or elder, I don’t mean appointing someone who has not got your best interests at heart, but I mean someone who has not done it before, someone who does not feel big enough to step into your shoes, someone who has never produced before. They will soon catch up and as you believe in them, they will believe in themselves and you will have more leaders, and like Moses that will only do well for you.

People rise to the space you give them. It’s that simple. You need to:

  • Provide emotional and spiritual support for people. Love them and convince them that they can survive.
  • Train people – the more you train, the more people think you believe in them.
  • Pay people more money. I know a lot of your people at first will be volunteers, but if you grow as a ministry to the point you are increasing, pay people as much as you can. Our highest expense every month is not TV bills, it is not venue hire, it is not even world mission – it is payroll, because I genuinely believe in people. (I believe in volunteers too, but that’s a different post)
  • Equip people properly – give them the tools to do their job. Getting the right equipment to do your job is the most encouraging thing o all.
  • Give people the people they need. Let the pastors appoint elders, with supervision of course, but let them appoint leaders too.
  • Support people. Be there for them, give them a place to contact you and reach to you.
  • Look ahead. Help people see where they are going, help them dream!

How to Make Someone Else A Better Leader 04 Create a Space for Leaders

The people who have influenced you most in your life are the people who believe in you! It really is that simple and straightforward. That faith in others creates a supernatural space for them to grow. All of us who want to raise up others must believe in them and create space for them.

You as a leader of leaders must be a space-creator. That is part of being a leader. I get concerned when I have elders who want larger and larger Living Churches but are not raising up a leader when the group becomes two. That is wrong. We must be space-creators.

John Maxwell says leaders need to be thermostats not thermometers. Anyone can measure the temperature of a church, but as leaders we need to change it. It’s the same principle – we must not look for space, and hope it appears by magic, we need to create space for potential leaders. We need to make that happen.

If you create and make space, there will be growth. You will actually look like a really good leader. If you do not create space, the people around you will not grow and you will not look like a good leader. Again, this principle is simple but it is true.

We need to create spaces for our people – appreciate how important those spaces are, know how to create those spaces and pour life into those spaces so what is there grows.

Sometimes someone comes to Tree of Life and prospers, they become a leader, they start to be successful, so they think they could move anywhere else in the world and still be a success. But they move to a different church and find it isn’t working. They did not realize how effective the Tree is at providing spaces for people to grow – it’s not just one person, there is a culture that is raising up leaders and helping them develop and grow. It is awesome! I love watching our leaders. We are now in the place where we have leaders who are raising leaders who are raising leaders! It’s generational and it is awesome.

You have all probably heard that a shark in a small tank will never grow above six inches, and that the same shark in the ocean will grow to a normal shark size, many many times bigger. Space is an absolute key determinant in growth.

If you put leaders in a small space, and I don’t mean a small group or small ministry, but in a place where they cannot grow and manoeuvre, then there will be problems with their growth. Some pastors like that, they are intimidated by big sharks, but we want to change the world, so we don’t mind the sharks getting big!

The first key to creating space is to realize how important it is and model it. What you do, people around you will do. What you model will be copied. The speed of the leader is the pace the people will walk. What you do, they do. Think about it like this – if someone is following you, they can only go as far as you. This is why I am so keen to keep growing myself all the time – we cannot model what we are simply not doing.

So, model life – and value space. In other words, give people the space to copy you, give people the place to be like you, to do what you do. Let them pray, let them advance, create a place they can grow bigger than six inches long!

Find out what space they need and give it to them. When there are people in your church humble, kind, with character, who are learning, who work with you and honour you, give them space to shine. Find out how to help them grow, find out what they need to read and hear and get it to them. Find out what they need to do. Do not be like Saul and keep all the honey to yourself – let the men share the honey! Let these people know you care about them and love them and want their best.

Next week, we will continue this with looking for the hidden leaders!