In the last few months I have been captivated by this leadership idea: leaders create opportunities. I observe this practice in every significant arena of leadership whether it be at home, on sports teams, at work, in church, in government, or in neighbourhoods. Leaders create opportunities for the people in their sphere of influence.
I have observed a parent putting down money and time in order to understand what a child needs in order to learn well. I have celebrated Jan Miko, principle, for creating an opportunity for children at Brock Elementary to sing at the opening of the new Olympic Curling Centre here in Riley Park when 4 weeks before Brock did not have a choir. I have observed a youth hockey coach going way beyond the call of duty for his players to play on the GM Place ice and to meet Trevor Linden. And last night I watched a pastor, Corneliu Ardelean, enjoy the fruit of all his labours to create opportunities for at least 20 other people to lead in a worship service.
Great leaders create opportunities for people to excel, to grow, to advance, to meet other leaders, to serve meaningfully, to succeed, to share the joy of life, to risk, to fail, to stretch… What… to fail? That’s right. Even to fail. Leaders create opportunities that encourage their followers to try and even to fail…but also, then to learn from those failures.
Leaders create opportunities for people to grow. I have a built in matrix for considering the people I lead (and myself.)
Head: What do they need to know?
Heart: What do they need to build character and to fuel passion for God?
Hands: What skills do they need to master?
Home: What relationships do they need to nurture?
Horizons: What dreams and visions are they aiming at?
Jesus was a brilliant leader. As an exploration of leadership I suggest that you read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in order to observe how Jesus created opportunities for the people he served.
Here are some more questions for reflection:
1. Who created opportunities for me in my journey in life so far?
2. What was at stake for these leaders when they created the opportunities for me?
3. When have I not fully appreciated the opportunities in front of me?
4. For whom am I creating opportunities?
5. What needs to change in me in order for me to create new and extraordinary opportunities for the people in my sphere of influence?
6. What strategic alliances can I make that will create opportunities for the people I lead?