Tonight I spent some time in a Church in Lakeland Florida meeting one of my new favorite authors. He wrote a short book called “A Knights Quest” which has messages in it that are timely and forever. That’s not what I’m writing about though. I spent time in their bible study and this changed my outlook on things. This study tonight was the 2nd to last study in a series by John Maxwell, called “How to Empower Potential Leaders”.
Tonight was on empowering people and principals that Mr. Maxwell has developed over the years in his times being a pastor and inspirational speaker. Here is what I learned.
The leadership lesson learned tonight that focused me was this, Those close to me determine the level of my success. What you see in a person is what you get from the person. There are three essentials to lead people that are close to you. Evaluating people, equipping people and empowering people. Evaluate the person, find their abilities and then determine whether they match the needs of the organization, Equipping people is to provide the person with education and teaching along with the tools they need to help the organization and finally EMPOWER them by giving your influence over to them for the purpose of their personal growth as well as the growth of the organization.
So how do you empower someone? Maxwell gives 7 steps to empower others. Each step is denoted by the letters in EMPOWER.
1. Evaluate them. Do not empower people recklessly. Do it with purpose I in mind.
2. Model for them – people respond better to one who models the behaviour that you wish to instill in them.
3. Pray over them. If one who you are trying to empower says something to you that you feel deserves or needs a prayer, pray for them/with them right then. It’s amazing what a 30 second prayer can do to empower someone.
4. Open you life to them
5. Walk alongside them, walk their journey with them
6. Express your belief in them – tell them every day that you believe in them.
7. Release them – let them loose and run on their own.
A quote Maxwell gives is this “The person who knows how will always have a job… but The person who knows why will always be the leader.”
An empowered leader is a effective leader. Does your leader pass these tests? In Acts Chapter 6 verse 1-7 we find these 7 tests that Paul give us.
1. The influence test – Select from among you
2. I was unable to get this one written down
3. The Credibility Test – Are they men/woman of good character
4. The spiritual test – are they full of the Spirit
5. The administrative test – do they have the wisdom
6. The servanthood test – “whom may we put in charge of this task”
7. The attitude test – are they full of faith?
The three questions which must be asked in an empowering relationship. Do they have the knowledge to do what the is required and in addition, do they know why it should be done. Do they know how to accomplish what is required and are they accomplishing it? Do they have the motivation to get it done? If you cannot say yes to the above then is empowering being done?
Evaluate yourself as a empowering leader: Maxwell gives 10 questions to ask yourself as that empowering leader. These were put together on napkins and legal pads by Maxwell over the years. Rank yourself from 1 to 10. 1=never 10=always
1. Do I believe in people and feel that they are an organizations most appreciable asset.
2. Do I feel team leadership can accomplish more than individual leadership?
3. Do I pray for potential leaders and quickly assimilate them into the organization? I need to add something here – Maxwell said something that sticks with me. He said that God will send you the caliber of person based upon the size of your need. If your need is small (let’s say a level 2 need) God will send you someone of level 2 caliber. If your need is leadership in a Men’s ministry and your need is GREAT – then with prayer and God’s guidance – he will eventually send you what kind of leader you need. God does not waste his resources.
4. Do I desire to raise others above my own level of leadership?
5. Do I invest time developing people who have leadership potential?
6. Do I enjoy watching others get credit for what I taught them?
7. Do I allow others the freedoms of personality and process or do I have to be in control?
8. Do I give my influence publicly to potential leaders as much as possible?
9. Do I plan to have other take my present position? Am I willing to turn over the reign to another person?
10. Do I hand-off the leadership baton to a teammate and truly cheer for them?
What are the barriers to empowerment?
1. Job security – “What am I going to do next?”
2. Love for Position “I enjoy my role, perks, etc.”
3. Resistance to change – “I like it the way it is”
4. Lack of Confidence – “Who else can do the job like me”
5. Loss of Investment – “I’ve put too much into this organization to let it go”
6. Fear of Retirement – “Me, retire?”
7. Self Worth – “This role is my whole life”
So how do we empower people. We model empowerment to them.
“People do what people see”
“Empowerment is transferral and this first step in the process is visual. Empowerment is more visual than most things. Not what you say, but what you do. How you walk, how you carry yourself. People who empower have a sense of confidence.
What attributes do others see in an empowering person or leader?
1. Provide security – they feel safe with empowerers.
2. They are charismatic
3. They have passion
4. They are anointing
5. They have a sense of success
6. They have tremendous humility
What can we do to empower others. Number 1 thing is to Pray over them. You pray for the people you are working with and who you are empowering. Charles Spurgeon was asked about his success – he replied “My people pray for me”
Every empowerment program will begin with motives. Good empowerment programs begin with the right motives. Poor programs begin with the wrong motives.
Of course there was more to this message and study but this is what I gleaned from the 35 minute video tonight.