My son has a funny habit whenever we get home. He jumps out of the car and goes to the back door only to find it locked. I try to stop him, though that desire has lessened lately, from doing this because his mother and I really shouldn’t laugh at him. Yet, he continues to do it. I asked the other day if he had ever found the house unlocked. He just looked at me in that 12-year-old way. The other day he did it again. He went to the door, turned the knob, and his head dropped. That disappointment of trying the same thing over and over only to have negative effects is how many of us feel in our organizations.
Every organization needs leaders. This is simple. However, what we often fail to realize is that every organization needs leaders-in-training also. Effective leadership is not only having the ability to guide the ship, but also training others to guide the ship. Whether your ship is small or large is irrelevant. EVERY organization needs leaders and those training to be leaders. Some day the leader will no longer be available. What happens then? Organizations that weather this storm are those who have trained people.
How do we do this? How do we unlock the potential that lies in those “could-be” leaders? Look at John 2:1-5 :
1The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
1. Recognize the ability – Mary knew the ability of her Son. She had pondered all the things of his birth and life in her heart. She knew he was capable of handling any situation. She had watched Him grow and interact with other people. She noticed His leadership, grace, compassion, and communication skills. She recognized the potential within Him. Are we recognizing the abilities of those around us? Do we know what they are capable of doing? Do we know the skill sets, the personality traits, their expertise and education? Have we done the homework to know what we have within the organization?
2. See an opportunity – At the wedding, the host ran out of wine which was a disgraceful thing to have happen. This might have been a family wedding. Mary could have been something of a wedding planner in this instance. Either way, Mary was passionate about this problem. This was an opportunity for Jesus. Many leaders are too busy getting stuff done that others are not brought along in the process. We had one particular group that needed a leader. I was capable of doing this and shifted my responsibilities around to support them for a while. I sought out those who would be good in this position. I could have done this alone. However, it is far better to train others if you want a stronger future.
3. Employ for service – Mary tells Jesus there is no more wine. He shrugs it off in a culturally allowable fashion. However, this is Jesus. He was also waiting for her faith to kick in. He does that… A LOT. Mary never missed a beat. She simply plodded right through this moment and told the servants to do whatever Jesus asked of them. She knew he could handle this moment. She simply put He and the situation together. People have a natural tendency today to opt out. It is the job of leadership to help them find the joy of using their skills. We had a man in our organization we recognized had an ability and when the opportunity arose we asked for his help. He was unsure at first. However, through encouragement and coaching he fulfilled the position wonderfully! Now, he is ready to be employed for service whenever needed and without hesitation.
4. Watch what happens – Mary left. She put it all together and then left. Jesus’ first miracle happened that day. God the Father, through Mary, was initiating Jesus’ moment. You see, God did to Mary exactly what she was doing to Jesus. The water was turned to wine. The chief servant, without knowledge, was ecstatic at the quality. The groom received honor. Mary had peace. The people had joy.
Your organization could possibly use an emotional boost. Unlock the potential and watch what happens.