Today I want to talk to you about a leadership pipeline and what that actually is. Because when I sit down with most leaders and I say, “Are you familiar with the concept?”, people say, “Yes!” I say, “Draw it for me,” and they draw something that looks like a linear progression. Sometimes they will even make it into a funnel. But that is not a pipeline. That’s a pipe dream, because that’s not how people actually develop.
A leadership pipeline provides a framework that looks quite different. This framework represents both core competencies and role-based competencies that people learn along the way in development.
Each passage in the pipeline represents something that is unique. A shift has to occur when someone moves from being a volunteer to a leader. Moving from leading themselves well to leading others well. They have to allocate their time and resources in a different way. Now this is the number one spot where people wash out, because far too often when we find a good volunteer we automatically put that volunteer over people and they aren’t prepared for that next level of responsibility.
But within a leadership pipeline, it changes that. Each volunteer, ministry leader, coach, senior leader knows what their next step is in the pipeline and they’ve actually mastered these core and role-based competencies before we move them to the next step. So, it removes all the guessing game of leadership development. You no longer practice leadership placement you practice development. Your church has a continuity of leadership when someone steps into a new role or when you need someone to fill in, it’s easy, obvious, and strategic for everyone who that is and where they should be.
Now that you understand the philosophy and framework of leadership pipeline, what are you going to do about it?