Reproduce Yourself - Passing on Your Leadership Role
What if you suddenly had to give up your leadership role? Who would take your place?
Chances are that several people would pick up the most obvious pieces. The next scheduled event would probably get pulled together by other leaders. But eventually—without someone carrying on your vision and passion and expertise—a hole would grow in your area of the ministry.
As leaders, one of our responsibilities is to reproduce ourselves. To find a person who has similar strengths and potential, and teach that person about our job so they can do what we do when we're no longer doing it.
Each of us needs to find a Mini-Me.
Why? Because you may not give up your role suddenly, but we all give up our leadership roles eventually. We may be called into another area of ministry, relocate geographically, or be unable to lead due to illness. Reproduction assures that the ministry and our legacy will live on. Otherwise, our leadership leads to a dead end.
We understand this leadership responsibility if we are parents. We're passionate about what we value, so we try to pass those values on to our children: faith, honesty, compassion, a commitment to family. A legacy of values we hope they will carry on when they grow up and become leaders in their own families.
The same is true in our leadership in ministry and workplace roles. We hope the leaders who replace us will carry on the vision that we have helped to shape.
What might hold you back from reproducing yourself? Maybe you don't think you've done a good job, so you don't think you can teach someone else to do your job. Or maybe you're reluctant to encourage someone who might do a better job. Or maybe you just don't see anyone who can do the job like you've been doing it. But these attitudes prevent us—and others—from the kind of growth God has for us in leadership.
Here are some ways to reproduce yourself in leadership:
- Be on the lookout for a person with potential to take over your job.
- Spend time with that person. Share your passion for the ministry.
- Give that person a job on your team. Work with her and encourage her as she learns.
- Teach him or her about the responsibility of your job, not only how to do it but why it matters and how it carries out the purpose of the ministry.
- As he or she carries out a responsibility, allow him or her to use their own creativity and style.
- Give him or her increasing amounts of responsibility.
As we carry out the biblical pattern of reproducing ourselves, we hold out the hope of Jesus to future generations.
Written by Carol Kuykendall
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