The number one need in organizations is leaders. There always seems to be a shortage of leaders compared to the needs and opportunities that are out there. In my coaching practice, I see that the quickest way to get more leaders is simply to recruit more leaders that are ready to go.  That meets the need in the short-term.

However, there’s a problem that comes with that approach. You start fishing out the pool and over time the quality of the leaders you’re recruiting drops. The amount of time you have to give to those leaders also decreases.

The long-term solution is to develop your own leaders out of your ministry (or even better– out of the harvest).  The challenge of course is that it takes more time to do that. But in the long run, you’re increasing your capacity. A ministry that has a system of developing leaders while engaging in the work of the ministry increases the ministry capacity and sustainability of the organization.

Now, recruiting is the easiest short-term solution– you get a quick win– so it’s the one most people turn to first. However, in the long-term, recruiting by itself actually causes a shortage of leaders. The more successful you are at recruiting, the bigger the unintended downside: not developing people for the longer-term. Putting systems in place to develop leaders is the longer-term solution.

The problem, of course, is that development takes time… and you need leaders now. What about doing both recruitment and development at once? Recruit a few leaders for the short-term, and at the same time begin developing leaders for the longer-term. That way, when you need more, you’ll have more.