Leaders develop Leaders by Shu
The iGo Team Leader retreat begins later today in iGosia (aka Camp Lake Lavon). Tomorrow this year’s crop of JSI’s show up to begin their training as well. It is always a special time of year for us as we get to really invest in leaders. At the core of iGo, we have a passion for developing leaders. Leadership is often defined as influence, and we want to do whatever we can to equip the next generation of influencers. This is part of the reason why our staff rarely leads teams. It is also why we strategically place 30+ students each summer as interns overseas through our JSI program. We want to see leaders develop.
And we get to see that time and time again. Students who first showed up for an iGo trip as confused and lost in iGosia as anyone (one of the best we know showed up at the wrong base camp the first time around) are now leading, serving, and influencing in all kinds of roles. Some iGo alums are church planters. Some are overseas. Some are accountants, office managers, teachers, salesmen, and even marine biologists. And so many of them were given their first real opportunity to lead, along with on the ground training, through iGo. It is humbling and just plain cool to see God use us like that.
That reminds me of the best leader I ever got to learn from. Joel Bratcher (now the BSM director in Aggieland) was one of the leaders that really invested in me. He saw leadership potential in me when very few people did. I don’t even think I did at the time. As a sophomore in college, Joel began to invest in me by pushing me into leadership roles. He recommended experiences that would stretch me and challenge me. And then he let me lead. Probably against his better judgment, but he did. He was always there to evaluate, encourage, and speak wisdom into my ideas, but he let me learn as I led. He let me make mistakes, and I learned even more through them.
As a leader, I want to be like Joel in so many ways. Do you? It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Joel. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t like Aggies. Do you look for leadership potential in others? It may not always be obvious, but the best leaders I know are able to find it in others. Do you push others into experiences and challenges that will stretch them? Do you step back and allow developing leaders to lead? In many ways, this is what the best leaders do. They spend much of their time developing other leaders. What are the things you are currently doing to help develop other leaders around you? Feel free to hit the comment button and share it with us all.