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I study people!

I especially study people in leadership positions – and I have for over four decades of ministry. In that time, I have been privileged to know many incredible Christian leaders. I have seen some who’ve been thrusted into leadership positions and have watched as a few maneuvered themselves there. Like I said: I study people.

One thing I particularly watch is how a leader reacts when they are with another leader of importance. How do they talk? Do they become a different person than normal? But most of all, how do they treat the people around them?

The question becomes, are they an Inclusive or Exclusive leader?

Here are Five Values of Inclusive Leaders I have observed over the years:

  1. Inclusive leaders believe their position is a platform for leadership development. They consistently bring younger leaders “up” and “in” close, allowing them to be influenced by veteran leadership.
  2. Inclusive leaders believe their position exist to lend credibility. You might hear them praising younger leaders, building them up, lending some of their own credibility until the younger leader gains their own.
  3. Inclusive leaders believe their position provides an opportunity for casting vision. They understand connecting young leaders with seasoned veterans is a great way to increase the younger leaders’ vision.
  4. Inclusive leaders believe their position is secure and are willing to relinquish the spotlight.
  5. Inclusive leaders believe their position should be used to motivate veteran leadership to keep dreaming. Inclusive leaders know spending time with young leaders will be positive for veteran leadership.

One of the greatest examples of Inclusive Leadership in my life was Jack Wyrtzen, founder and director of Word of Life Fellowship. He literally preached to millions of people, saw a countless number come to Christ and influenced young leaders globally.

Jack was known around the world and was often visited by notable Christian leaders. In all the instances where I encountered him in their presence, I cannot remember a time when he did not invite me into the group, or at least introduce me to them.

Jack would make a big deal about who I was and what I was doing in ministry. I would greet them and walk away a little taller, with more energy and enthusiasm for my ministry.

He did not have to do that…But he did…And it mattered!

Inclusive leadership is intentional, contagious and motivating! It is a leadership trait worth cultivating if we truly desire to develop young leaders.

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