***This article is inspired by chapter 10 of John C. Maxwell’s book Leadership Gold –
“Don’t Send Your Ducks to Eagle School.”***

Not everyone is a potential leader.

Some people have no interest in becoming one. Others may want to be, but don’t have the basic skills, character, or mentality to become one. Others may just never think about it.

Why is this important? Because you only have so much time in a day to invest in those who want to be mentored and developed. If you expend your time, talents, and resources on everyone for the sake of “fairness,” you will dilute your impact.

This is not about devaluing anyone. Rather, it’s about investing in the people who will lead your team or organization forward into the future. It is about investing in those who want to be leaders, who may have unrealized potential and those in which you see something special.

In Leadership Gold by John C. Maxwell, he addresses this topic in detail in the chapter titled “Don’t Send Your Ducks To Eagle School.” He calls those with leadership potential “eagles” and those who don’t have it “ducks.” Eagles and ducks are both important for your organization, but you must be wise in how you invest your time in developing next-generation leaders.

If you try to force a duck to become an eagle, you will frustrate yourself and the duck!

If you neglect developing eagles, you will frustrate the eagles!

Many people are ducks who want to do their jobs well without the responsibilities that come with leadership. That’s okay!

Eagles are the ones who want to be challenged and be given opportunities to step up and lead. Honor their desire.

Value your ducks enough let them be ducks.

Value your eagles enough to invest in them.

To be intentional with your leadership development, do the following four steps:

1 – Make a list of those whom you believe are “eagles” needing to be developed

2 – Develop a plan to invest in them

3 – Invite them to be mentored and trained

4 – Implement your plan by creating an intentional meeting and training rhythm

If you want your team or organization to move forward with strong leadership, you must begin now. It takes time to develop people. They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is today. The same is true with leadership development.

What will you do today to begin?

Whom will you invite into your “eagle training”?

Take responsibility to develop those under your care and multiply your impact.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

P.S. If you need help developing a plan or implementing a leadership development program, please contact me. I’d love to talk with you to determine how I can help and partner with you!

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