Every youth workers worst nightmare almost became a horrible gasping reality for our team May long weekend a number of years ago: at a youth event we almost had a student drown. It may have been that he couldn’t swim. It may have been that he didn’t know it was the deep end. It may have been that he has only one and a half arms. It may have been that he had too much trust in the lifeguards. It may have been that or something or anything else. The fact is, without someone pulling him off the bottom end of the deep-end he would have died. Most leaders dream of developing leaders, however, while many of these same dreamy-eyed leaders are wiping the sleep out of their eyes their leadership teams are slowly, and, sometimes quickly sinking to the bottom without rescue. A lucid nightmare.
It has been my experience that close to 100% of people I talk to are more ready for challenge, learning, and development then they realize. I have found that the majority of these people are simply teetering on the edge of drowning or waving waiting for someone else to draw out worth and significance from their life. Now imagine what happens when I observe and identify significance in someone’s life and I challenge them to teach me and help me learn what they are so proficient and first-class at? Leadership development happens; they are learning to teach, they are learning to have confidence in their worth, and I am learning from them. Notice that this isn’t generally in the realm of workshop or seminar but in the backyard swimming pool where there are no lifeguards; a place where we need to teach each other to swim.
Pulling significance out of people beginning in relationship is nurtured in trust and compounds in the slowness of history; this is living life together.
Leaders highlight significance.