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Developing leaders vs. developing followers

Topic / Leadership

Nigel Coates, a youth worker in Great Britain, posted a great chart comparing leaders that develop followers and leaders that develop leaders. He says this:

Is it better to develop leaders or followers? In reality most of us try to develop… “followers”, which in the long run is less effective than developing leaders.

Check out the comparison chart he posted between developing leaders vs developing followers. I need to evaluate this for myself and I’m also going to use this with my student leadership team.


Posted on June 19, 2007

  • For the most part I agree with the distinction. However, I think the way the contrast should be is: developing leaders versus retaining followers. The reason i use that is because i actually think we do need to develop followers. Jesus said, “Follow me…” His disciples were to learn how to follow. When Peter confronted him in Mark 8, he said, “get behind me…” Very few leaders know how to train people to be good, biblical followers.

  • Tim

    That’s a good insight, Eddy. And granted, in a sense, not everyone was created to be a leader either (depending on how you define “leader”). However, when I think of Jesus’ words, “Follow me…” I think he intended for them to follow only for a time while they learned how to lead because there’s no doubt that after Christ ascended those followers definitely transitioned into leaders.

  • sure, they transitioned to be leaders, yet continue to follow christ… of course, we should never be developing followers of us. We are always calling people to follow Jesus (no matter how strong of a leader we are)

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