I've had a few people ask me how I use The Christian Leader Blueprint for one-on-one development of others. In this post, I want to provide a simple approach for how you can take this resource and make a lasting difference in the lives of the people you lead.
If you’re not familiar with The Christian Leader Blueprint, I encourage you to go to my website and download it for free today.The blueprint is a practical manual for leadership clarity and effectiveness. This resource offers specific guidance on how to increase your effectiveness as a leader while helping you gain clarity in the leadership growth process. The Christian Leader Blueprint is also for anyone who wants those in their circle of influence to receive clarity and learn how to lead effectively.
Let me give you some thoughts on how to use The Christian Leader Blueprint. If you're a pastor or a leader and you want to use this valuable resource to help develop others, you must use it for yourself first. Read through the guide in depth and study it to gain a good understanding of what the model truly is. You don't have to be proficient in every topic the resource covers. You really don't have to be proficient in any subject or even fully understand every subject discussed in the blueprint.
I highly recommend that you approach this resource with the mindset that you're learning as well. This will allow you to use the blueprint without feeling the pressure to know everything that the resource discusses. In fact, it's not even possible for you to "arrive" at some euphoric place where you no longer need growth in any area of your life. There are always greater depths you can experience and deeper learning and understanding that you can receive within each of area of growth. I've personally studied all of these topics for years and adapted them for my own life, and I still have much to learn.
Keep in mind as you're working with people, you do not necessarily have to take a mentor approach, even if you're in a leadership position overseeing the person you’re working with. I like to approach the topic of leadership development when using The Christian Leader Blueprint in the same way that I approach my coaching clients. I'm a guide to provide vision and direction, and we can even grow together.
After you gain the right mindset to approach The Christian Leader Blueprint, you need to establish a routine time to meet with the person you are trying to help. If you don't set aside a routine time to meet, you're not going to interact enough with the individual to make an impact. Before you meet for the first time or at least by your second meeting, have the individual you’re helping read through the blueprint and study it. As they're reading through the resource, encourage them to underline, star, and take notes on anything that stands out to them. It’s very important to identify those topics and items that resonate with the individual because these are the topics that they will have more energy to work on. Most of the time, it's the pain points in a person's life or the things that bring them the most grief that they will be most eager to focus on.
Although The Christian Leader Blueprint will give you a basic understanding of the topics included, you'll want to try to understand why the person chose their topics of interest to work on. Start searching for ways to grow in those areas. Books are the best place to start. Afterall, a leader is a reader. You can search for books on Amazon or Google that relate to the topics you want to know more about. If you find two to three books on any topic and take time to read those books, you'll have a great deal more knowledge than most people on that particular subject.
I know reading books sounds overly simple, but let me give you the reason this practice is so effective. Studies show that the average person reads less than one book per year. I’ve also heard it said that 58% of Americans, after their classroom education, never read another nonfiction book again. That's a very staggering statistic. If this is true, six out of every ten people don't read nonfiction books at all. It is no wonder that people don't grow, but that's great news for you and me. If you will read two to three books on a subject, particularly on one of the topics found in The Christian Leader Blueprint, you'll be considered an expert on that topic, at least compared to the average person.
If you don't like reading, get an audiobook. Nearly every good book available has an audio version. If you're anything like me, it may even help to buy the Kindle version and the audio version. If a book is worth my time to read, then it's worth a little extra money to buy both versions. I read and listen at the same time, and this really helps me retain the information.
You can also look for online courses or blog posts on the subjects that interest you. I've got YouTube videos on nearly all of the subjects contained in The Christian Leader Blueprint. You can have conversations with others that you know study in those particular areas to see if they have any thoughts or ideas in order to learn more on the topic.
Since you are the guide in this situation, you don’t need to do all the work. Get the person that you're meeting with involved in the process, and challenge them to go out and find good resources on these topics. You can also join the Christian Leader Made Simple Facebook group by clicking on the link in the back of the blueprint. In that group, you can ask for help and suggestions, or you can email me. My email is on the blueprint as well. I also have a book and some courses that I’m working on that should be available by the end of this year or the beginning of next year. I truly want to help you succeed in your personal development as you help guide others in their development.
Keep it simple as you routinely meet with the individual at the times you designate. All you have to do is discuss the topics that interest or concern them. There is very little to no preparation needed. Center your discussions on those learning opportunities that they have identified. These discussions are incredibly important in order to bring to the surface those impactful moments that will create change in the individual. These conversations will generate memorable experiences as you dig into these topics.
The leader should then explore the question of “why” with the person. Get curious, and ask, “Why did this particular topic grab your attention? What significant things should be considered regarding this topic? What pain points are there? What’s important to learn regarding this subject?” A really good question to ask as well is, “What else is a challenge here for you? When they answer that question, respond with, “Tell me more.” Many times, a person’s first answer is not their best answer; therefore, it is important to prompt them to give more information. Proverbs 20:5 says, "Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out." There’s usually always a more meaningful answer if you allow the conversation to go a little deeper. When you feel like you’ve gotten to the root of their responses, ask the individual, “How can I, as your guide, help support you during this learning process?”
Finally, wrap up the conversation by saying, “What was most useful or most valuable for you in our conversation today?” This question will deepen the learning process. Come back together in a few weeks and talk about this topic again, or move on to whatever is standing out to them in that moment. I encourage you to stay curious and move slowly through these topics.
This may sound odd to some of you, but try not to offer advice. Simply ask questions. Extract the person’s most important thoughts through your questioning. This is a great time to practice being a good listener. When you’ve gone deep into one topic and the person is ready to move on, transition to another topic of their interest.
The Christian Leader Blueprint helps you explore sensitive topics that you may not have had the opportunity to explore in the past. It gives you an excuse to talk about things like work-life balance, routines, character growth, empathy, or personal support teams as well as a host of other important subjects. It allows you to examine these areas so that you can elevate the people you are developing and improve their lives. This resource will also help you help others gain clarity and increase in effectiveness.
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