When I refer to “undeveloped leadership,” I’m really talking about “raw leadership.” Some of the words that come to mind when we hear “raw” may include: undeveloped, unprocessed, unrefined, crude, basic, uncooked, inexperienced, green, untrained, “still wet behind the ears,” and untried. I remember many, many years ago being referred to as a “promising” young leader, but still very “raw.” I’m thankful to God and to the many leaders that invested in me during this leadership journey.
In the youthfulness of our leadership, much of the time we are characterized by terminology that connotes “raw.” This characterization is not intended to be offensive. It is intended to make wise commentary about where you may be at this stage of leadership. There are many great examples of “raw” leadership that emerges into “tried and tested” leadership. Some of the great examples in the Bible include Moses, Timothy, and most of the twelve disciples.
Know this: God is preparing you for a purpose. In light of His purpose, He sometimes assigns you to “courses” and “subject matter” that you would not have chosen as an “elective.” The process of leadership preparation often seems very slow, painful, and full of obstacles. There is no painless journey to create the servant leader that He requires for His purpose.
Yes, leaders are compelled to know many things. Leaders are also compelled to do many things, well. As you emerge into the leader that God has purposed and designed, pursue a mentor and/or coach. If you are qualified to mentor and/or coach, then pursue someone that could use you, at this time. The imperative is this: pursue healthy leadership growth and attach yourself to a trusted person that believes in leadership development.
If you and I are going to effectively develop the leadership abilities of others, we must provide more than training, education, and instruction. We must “mentor.” The “mentor” provides support, care, and wisdom. As a “leadership mentor,” you must help cultivate and develop the leadership capacity of others.
Certainly the Apostle Paul understood this very well. We see him investing in the lives of many, but the life of Timothy stands out as a prime example of being “mentored” and “coached.” Do you have a “mentor” or a “coach?” Read closely the words of 1 Timothy 4:6-16, and observe the mentor’s (Paul’s) direct instruction to his protégé (Timothy). Here we see Paul’s hard-edged, tough direction with tender encouragement. Study and pray about this great example of the mentor-mentee relationship.
Suggested Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for investing in me. Thank You for your patience, mercy, and grace. Dear Lord, I pray that You will provide the right men and women to help me, stand-by me, invest in me, coach me, and mentor me. I pray to You, Dear Father, for Your Hand to be upon those that you have purposed to help me in the leadership development journey. I thank You. I pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior. Amen.”
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