While reading Developing the Leaders Around You by John C. Maxwell, his section about the different levels of leadership really stood out to me.
Within leadership, there are generally three distinct levels of leading. The three levels indicate different levels of commitment, involvement, and relationship.
Nurturing: The focus in a nurturing relationship is based on need. The leader is committed to fulfilling the individual’s needs. This type of relationship is generally based on spontaneous decision to help a person with a specific task.
Equipping: The focus in an equipping relationship is based on task. The leader is committed to teaching the individual how to perform a certain task. This type of relationship is a short term commitment to teach a person a skill in order to perform tasks.
Developing: The focus in a developing relationship is based on the person. The leader is committed to the person unconditionally. This type of relationship is a long term commitment to mentor a person in all aspects of life so that their mentee can mentor someone else.
Realistically, a leader should nurture everyone, equip and handful, and develop a few. A leader that doesn’t equip or develop anyone is a leader that creates dependency on himself / herself, making it difficult for an organization to continue without him / her. A leader that tries to develop too many people is often bent over backwards trying to invest a lot into everyone, ultimately not being able to act according to what they say.
If leadership is truly about serving and doing what is best for the people you are leading, leaders must create a model that is practical, scalable, and meaningful.