Why are leaders so hard to find? Is that a legit question or is it something people say when they don’t do the hard work of developing leaders in their circles of influence? The answer is “It’s probably both.” On one hand, it’s difficult to find leaders with characteristics like patience, competence, awareness, accountability, dedication, inspiration, adaptiveness…well…you probably have your own list of leadership traits. But, consider my observation. The best leaders in my world were ones that have been “homegrown.” Now I’m not just talking about my little pond of influence. Generally speaking, great leaders would point back to the handful of people in their life who invested in them. Through mentoring and coaching, those people brought them to the point of excellence in their leadership. Leadership never happens in a vacuum.
I’m struck by an obscure verse in the New Testament that illustrates the power of personal mentoring in the life of a leader. Acts 4:13 says When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Now the context of this single verse is this: Peter has been brought before the rulers and leaders of Jerusalem. They couldn’t seem to understand how Peter and his sidekick John could impact so many people since they weren’t formally educated. Then, as the text states, they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Jesus Christ poured into the lives of the disciples for nearly three years. The result? Nothing less than a movement of God that transformed the world. Their impact is still impacting our world.
Do you want to make a significant impact on your world? Perhaps you need to consider your own contribution to “homegrown leadership.” Who are you pouring into?