Developing the Leaders around you – John C Maxwell


  • All – Nurture your people
  • Many – Equip the best people around you
  • Few – Develop them so they can reach their potential

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.





Training for work

Training for personal growth

Focus is on NEED

Focus is on TASK

Focus is on the PERSON







Maintains leadership

Adds leadership

Multiplies leadership







Need oriented

Skill oriented

Character oriented

What they want

What the organization needs

What they need

A desire

A science

An art

Little or no growth

Short term growth

Long term growth





Provide climate for potential leaders

  • Shark in a fish tank remains small.
  • Turn it loose in the ocean and it grows to normal size.
  • Believing in people’s ability
  • Generate activity that is productive, creating momentum
  • Possibilities to step up and thrive.
  • Find the one thing that you believe is the potential leaders greatest asset, and then give 100% encouragement in that area. This promotes growth, confidence, success.
  • Be genuinely interested in the well being of those around you. Their determination and drive of the people in that group will be activated in a remarkable way. the starting point of all achievement is drive, determination, and desire.
  • Look for the leader within the person.
  • Qualities to look for: 
    Growth potential (hunger for growth)
    Resiliency (bounce back when problems arise)
    Big picture mindset
  • If you find traces of this “gold”, start digging.
  • No focus on titles, but about accomplishing the mission/vision. Team atmosphere.
  • Provide growth opportunities
    -To create the right opportunities, ask “what does this person need to grow?”
    -expose the potential leader to people successful in his field
    -provide a secure environment where he/she is free to take risks
    -provide him/her with a mentor
    -provide him with tools/resources needed
    -spend time/money to train him in his areas of need
  • Lead (don’t manage) with vision
    Leaders are innovators and creators who rely on people.
    Managers are maintainers, tending to rely on systems and controls.
    The vision provides guidance.
  • Make difficult decisions
    Should the person be trained, transferred or terminated?
    Removing poor performers is as important as finding good ones.



  • The more positive qualities you look for, the more you are going to find.
  • You go in looking for gold.

Selecting the right players:

  • Hiring/appointing is like skydiving: once you’ve jumped out of the plane, you’re committed.
  • The key to making the right choice depends on the leader’s
    1) ability to see the big picture
    2) ability to judge potential leaders during the selection process
    What is needed?
    Who are already available?
    Who is able?
    Who is willing?
    Who gets things done?
  • make hiring/appointing the responsibility of a highly developed leader
  • appoint the most highly developed leaders you can get
  • commit to modeling leadership.
  • Let them know what is expected of them.
  • commit to developing those around you

 Qualities to look for when appointing a leader: 

To hunt for leaders, you need to know what they look like.
10 qualities to look for when appointing:

  • Character = most important.
    – Honesty, integrity, self-discipline, Teachability, dependability, perseverance, conscientiousness, strong work ethic, walk the talk, solid reputation, straightforward manner
    – Warning signs:
    Failure to take responsibility for actions
    Unfulfilled promises
    Failure to meet deadlines
  • Influence
    Leadership is influence.
    Every leader has these two characteristics:
    A) he is going somewhere
    B) he is able to persuade others to go with him
  • Positive attitude
    Not only does the future look bright when the attitude is right, but the present is much more enjoyable too.
  • Excellent people skills
    – genuine concern for others
    – ability to understand people
    – decision to make positive interaction with others a primary concern
  • Evident gifts
    Every person has gifts. Leaders must make an assessment of those gifts when considering a person for employment/appointment.
    A) Lack of ability.
    —> Redirect.
    B) Right gifts and abilities, but no self discipline.
    —> needs to develop self discipline.
    C) Raw talent, few skills
    —> needs training
    D) Right gifts, right skills, right attitude, has drive
    —> needs opportunity
  • Proven Track record
  • Confidence
    Confidence empowers.
    A great leader has the ability to instill within his people confidence in himself and in themselves.
  • Self-discipline
    Great leaders always have self discipline- without exception.
    – When it comes to self discipline, people choose one of two things:
    1) the pain of discipline which comes from sacrifice and growth
    2) the pain of regret which comes from the easy road and missed opportunities
    – Two areas of self discipline to look for in a potential leader:
    1) in the emotions. Effective leaders recognize that their emotional reactions are their own responsibility.
    2) time. Their level of self discipline dictates how effectively their time is used. Disciplined people are always growing, striving for improvement, they maximize the use of their time.
    – 3 things that characterize disciplined leaders:
    1) they have identified specific long and short term goals.
    2) they have a plan for achieving those goals
    3) they have a desire that motivates them to continue working to accomplish those goals.
  • Effective communication skills
    Never underestimate the importance of communication.
    A leader is not capable of reaching his potential without effective communication skills
    Communication is positive interaction.
    Look for the following:
    -A genuine concern for the person he’s talking to.
    -the ability to focus on the responder.
    -the ability to communicate with all kinds of people
    -eye contact with the person he’s talking to
    -a warm smile
  • Discontent with status quo
    – Leaders see what is, but more importantly they have a vision for what could be. They are never content with things as they are.
    – This has to do with the willingness to be different and take risks
    – Leaders – risk takers – are in very short supply. And ones with vision are pure gold.
    – When seeking potential leaders, seek people who seek solutions.

An ABILITY to recognize ability and a STRATEGY for finding leaders make it happen.



Once you have identified potential leaders, you need to begin the work of building them into the leaders they can become.


  • What people need when they get started:
    Believe in them
    Encourage them
    Share with them
    Trust them
  • Provide security
    A potential leader who feels secure is more likely to take risks, try to excel, break new ground, and succeed.
  • Reward production
    If we want people to produce, you must reward production. Personal recognition
  • Establish a support system
    Every potential leader needs support in 5 areas:
    1) Emotional support – “Yes you can”
    2) Skills training
    3) Money
    4) Equipment
    5) Personnel – Provide the people needed to get the job done.

Discipling a life/Mentoring

  • Lead and nurture everyone within your influence, but spend 80% of your time on the most promising 20% of the potential (appointed) leaders around you.
  • Guidelines for selecting the right people to mentor and develop:
    – Select people whose philosophy of life is similar to yours
    – choose people with potential you genuinely believe in
    – determine what they need (involves looking at their strengths and weaknesses objectively)
    – give feedback, evaluate
    – be committed, serious, available to the people you mentor.
  • Most people agree that nurturing is important to the development of children. But they often fail to see the importance in the workplace/ministry. They assume that appointed potential leaders will nurture themselves. If we as leaders do not nurture the potential leaders around us, they will never develop into the types of leaders we desire.


  • Having the right equipment
  • Knowing how to use it
  • Know the expectations, prepared and committed
  • Trained to be part of the team
  • Thinking like a leader
  • Must be able to see and know what to do with what he sees.
  • Equipping is an ongoing process.
  • The equipper is a
  • Develop a personal relationship with the people you equip
  • Share your dream
  • Ask for commitment
  • Set goals for growth
  • Communicate the fundamentals

5 step process: 

  • Model
  • Mentor
  • Monitor
  • Motivate
  • Multiply

Give the big three: 

  • Responsibility
  • Authority
  • Accountability


  • so they can reach their potential