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Six Ways To Develop Your Leadership Potential

1. Be Content With Who God Made You

Don’t fall into the dangerous game of comparing yourself with others. Either you will become discouraged, or proud. There will always be people you think are better or worse than you. If God wanted you to be someone else, he would have made you someone else. If you are not you, who's going to be you? Be yourself, everyone else is taken! Rejoice in your gifting, your personality, the people (starting with your family of origin) and the circumstances God has allowed into your life. Comparing and competing with others is a dead-end street.

2. Be A Specialist Not A Generalist

Find out what you are gifted to do and focus on that. C.S. Lewis says "Everyone is composed of a few themes." Stay with the thing(s) that you are gifted to do and give yourself wholeheartedly to that.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 (The Message)

It’s still true: “Jack of all trades and master of none.” You can really be excellent and extremely competent if you narrow your focus and specialize.

3. Don’t Try To Keep Everybody Happy

Learn how to say no to people and opportunities. Saying yes to everybody and every opportunity is a sure ticket to burnout and not reaching the full potential of God’s plan and purpose for you. A well known comedian said,  “I don’t know what the secret to success is, but I do know what the secret to failure is and that’s trying to keep everybody happy.” Stop it!

4. Be Willing To Lose People Who Are Not On The Same Page With Your Vision And Philosophy Of Ministry

To realize your true potential in Jesus, you need to surround yourself with the right people. Don’t be afraid to say no to a person who’s not the right fit for your team, or to ask a person to leave and find a place somewhere else. Don’t be intimidated by strong personalities who want a leadership role or influence for all the wrong reasons and will, over time, take the church, group or organization in a direction which is not in line with what God has made clear to you.

5. Build A Team And Don’t Try To Do Everything Yourself

Exodus chapter 18 is just as relevant today as when it was written several thousand years ago. Moses’ father-in-law strongly encourages him to select others and delegate decision-making authority to them commensurate with their gifting and capacity. One of the key derailleur’s for leaders is trying to do too much themselves--not trusting others to carry the burden of the vision with them (see Numbers 11:16,17).

6. Be A Life-Long Learner 

John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” Be genuinely and truly open to learn from anyone at anytime on any subject. Be hungry to grow, learn, and pick up new insights every chance you get. Never assume you know everything about anything. Things are always changing and you need to be constantly growing and learning. At 76 I am still reading 30 books a year and following various gifted leaders and communicators on the internet.

The person who said you can never teach an old dog a new trick has never met a hungry dog. You are not too old or too tired, but you are perhaps not hungry enough. Ask the Lord for a fresh hunger/desire to grow and learn. God has a lot in store for you and you don’t want to miss it.

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