The Messy Truth about Leadership Development

I don’t like what I’m about to tell you. It goes against everything in me. I’ve fought it, I’ve tried to change it, but there is nothing I can do about it. The fact is…leadership development is messy. 

You can send your leaders to the best conferences, provide the best resources, share your best wisdom, and give the best coaching but there will still be times they will fail, mess up, make mistakes, drop the ball and disappoint you.  

Jesus walked with his disciples for three years and during that time they watched him live with flawless perfection, perform awe inspiring miracles and amaze crowds with sage teaching…yet they still struggled to “get it.”  Just hours after watching Jesus feed over 5000 people from a few loaves of bread Mark says regarding the disciples, “they had not understood about the loaves.” (Mark 6:51-52)

Leadership development requires patience, grace, and understanding.  It necessitates letting people fail, make mistakes and experience disappointment.   A great developer is one who takes the messy material of one’s failure and shapes it into life-changing learning experiences. 

So don’t lose heart, just remember leadership development is messy.