“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” -John 14:12
Many times I hire someone in the hopes they can eventually make it to a leadership role. I see the potential to lead and the budding management chops, but I want to make sure they can take those gifts and put them into action. You see, not everyone who CAN lead, WILL lead. Why? Because it takes a special kind of person to empower others. It also takes a remarkable person to admit fault, take responsibility, and plow their present failures into future successes.
This is exactly what Jesus was looking for in his 12 apostles. Jesus invested time and energy developing these twelve singular and special people and only at the point he felt they could properly manage the information and the responsibility, did Jesus empower them to go out into the world and lead others.
I’ve heard it said that, “The teacher who offers empowerment too early sets up followers for failure. On the other hand, the leader who fails to empower capable people creates frustration.” As an example, Peter was not ready for leadership before the crucifixion. He failed to use the empowerment given to him by Jesus. It required a monumental and life-changing failure in Peter’s life before he matured into his leadership role. However, once Peter began to appropriate what Jesus had imparted to him, he became a powerful and effective leader.
I’ve done it both ways. I’ve thrown unknowns into leadership roles and watched them flounder and make costly mistakes. I’ve also hired unknowns, taught them how to lead by example, given them projects to succeed at, and then empowered them to take on leadership roles. The latter is obviously the more preferred method.