This insight comes via Neil Cole, considered one of the founders of the simple church movement: When it comes to leadership don’t invest in potential, invest in proven faithfulness.
I have to admit that his comment startled me a bit at first. I don’t believe he’s discounting potential — but leadership is about more than potential. Many of us have unlimited depths of potential — to write books, make music, give speeches, lead teams — and many of us will die with that potential still buried within us.
When it comes to developing a team of leaders, potential is important but faithfulness is even more important. Ask questions like these:
- Has this person taken any action steps that moved them in a positive direction?
- Has this person volunteered for small, minor tasks?
- Does this person show initiative?
In the end, we aren’t looking for potential change, potential impact. We’re looking to make a difference.