Some lead according to their stature and height.  They build a ceiling on vision just above their own head.  As long as other leaders and followers are shorter in stature, they can live comfortably in the containment of the leader’s vision.

The Pharisees led people with a clearly defined ceiling on God’s House.  If they stretched up on tippy toe, they could touch the ceiling.  They felt taller than others and thought they were authorized to define maximum growth potential.

In a small aquarium fish will only grow to a size suitable to their environment.  The same fish in the wild can grow several times larger.

Indoor plants will only grow to the maximum potential of the soil pot they are planted in.  They can grow several times larger when they have more resources.

On the birch tree in my front yard, there were two posts in the ground alongside the slender trunk of the young tree.  The tree had the advantage of stabilizers while it grew to maturity.

Your role in leading leaders is to come alongside and join to them to provide stability so they can grow straight and tall. 

It’s not your job to put a ceiling on how big they can grow, unless you want to keep them small like goldfish in a bowl.

Advice from Ross Perot about how to treat your people:
"Never ask anyone to do what you haven't done before and wouldn't do again. That's a pretty fundamental rule in leadership...treat them like you treat yourself. Things you don't like, they don't like. You don't like to be jerked around, they don't either. You don't like to be talked down to, and they don't either. You would rather work with somebody than for somebody. So would they. You hate people who pound on your head after you gave everything you had and failed...It's that simple."
Bits & Pieces, August, 20, 1992, p. 3.


paulwilkinson said…
This is difficult to write, but there have been people with whom I worked as a leader over the years who have totally surpassed me. They took in whatever I had to offer, but then flourished spiritually beyond anything I could have imagined.

And sometimes, if you'll allow them to, you can let them lead you at another stage of life.

The entertainment business knows this principle; they have a saying, "The people you meet on the way up are the people you meet on the way down." Their stars rise and fall all the time.

Ideally, however, none of us are actually on the way down. We're growing in Christ; moving closer to the cross; but all uniquely and at different rates of growth.

The students often do become the masters.
Kevin Rogers said…
That's so true Paul. I would reccomend Earl Crep's book 'Reverse Mentoring'. It talks about how much we need to learn from younger or less experienced people in our lives.

I've discovered that I am growing most from relationships with younger guys in ministry.