categories: NETWORK, communication, development, leadership, mentoring, recommendations, working together
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September 29th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

14 comments (+ Add)

One By One

John Maxwell did a talk years ago about finding eagles. (He described an eagle as a leader who soared above the others.) Maxwell said, “Turkeys and chickens flock together, but eagles soar alone.”

Some put ads in a bulletin asking for potential leaders to contact the church office. It’s not uncommon to ask for leaders to sign up in the lobby during the church announcements.

In my experience, it’s rare to find a great leader by asking the masses and hoping one will sign up or show up.

In every case I can think of, I’ve discovered great potential in others during one-on-one conversations.

Rather than hoping to find an eagle in a crowd, we will likely have better success spotting them after a personal conversation.

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  1. Sep 29, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Reminds me of Bill Hybels talk when he talks about his father and wishing someone would have asked him to be involved. thanks for the reminder

  2. Sep 29, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Requires discernment and the ability to read people. Of being able to see someone with “It.” Correct? :) Is that something given by the Holy Spirit or there a way to develop that? How can you tell if someone is a flash in the pan or for real? Good post Craig. Just wondering about these.

  3. Sep 29, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Just read another Eagle Analogy yesterday and last week…hmmm need to check out more info on eagles I guess…I am on the same page with Bill’s questions?

  4. 4Ginger B
    Sep 29, 2009 at 8:21 am

    That is a good post, and a good question for Craig, Bill. I think we naturally think the biggest roadblock is having the time, courage, and care to initiate conversations like that. However, for a lot of people, I guess the challenge does lie within knowing what we’re looking for and how to look for it.
    A good anaology is being able to discern during interviews for new hires, which takes learned skill and lots of experience.

  5. Sep 29, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I remember our one on one conversation in 2001 which ultimately led to me moving my family to Tulsa to help start the Tulsa campus…in a hotel ballroom!

    The lesson for me here, is that you picked out certain core values based on our conversation. I need to be doing the exact same thing in my conversations with people in the lobby or out and about. I can’t deny that God orchestrates some of those moments. I feel like the past 7 years is a result of God putting me in the right place at the right time.

  6. Sep 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Agreed, Craig!

    I really just pray that God makes it clear to me / gives me a feeling of who the leaders in the crowd are (crowd meaning the Lifegroup ministry I lead) (although I don’t pray this often enough), and then strike conversation with them over lunch or dinner and get an even better bearing on these eagles!

    Pray for the eagle-eye!

  7. Sep 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    It has been my experience that the leaders in the local body are generally serving in some capacity.
    They are ready to jump in wherever necessary to accomplish the task at hand.They are the ones looking ahead and not looking back to see who is following. They seem to always stand out and people flock to them. See, I could work the the bird thing in.

  8. Sep 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I think there are leaders within each one of us, after all we are all called to be a leader and not a follower. A good leader is built and not found, there should be no requirements to be a leader except faithfulness.

    Looking at Jesus’ example, he didn’t look for a person, instead he saw the potential in people. He saw their faithfulness.

    My 2c

    God bless

  9. Sep 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Hi All,
    - Bill that is an awesome question. And interestingly it was one Disciples in Jesus’ time and before asked. How can one know if this person is called by God to be a leader or as you said bill, “A flash in the pan or for real?” - I Love that!!
    - We can see this through Jesus’ choices in Leaders, so many came to Jesus & would tell Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
    - Jesus replies, “The foxes have holes & the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
    - One would say to Jesus, “Lord let me first go & bury my father.” Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead.”
    And so many other cases show the commitment Jesus looks for in leaders. We will know them by there fruit. Jesus was a Rabbi who traveled constantly like so many others did. And to learn from Jesus, you had to “Follow Him,” “Lekh A’Kkarai” meaning “Walk After Me.” To truly learn from Jesus you had to “Follow Him.” This meant you were there watching & learning how Jesus would handle each situation. But it required that you followed him right then & there & went where ever He went or sent you. It meant leaving your family, your job, your home.
    - This shows us a Commitment based in “Humility.” As a leader we must be willing to do as “God has called us, go where He has called us, Do what He says to do.” Even if it means leaving the things we hold most precious. Like the story of Abraham, how many of us are willing to take that which is most important to us & lay it on the Altar of Sacrifice, not so God can take it away from us, but in order for God to use it to glorify His name.
    - I know for me, that one thing I have a hard time laying on the altar like Abraham did with his son, is myself. Placing my self-Centeredness, my pride of doing it my way. A leader is first a servant of the servants….

  10. 11Terese
    Sep 30, 2009 at 6:59 am

    I’m with Victor, though I’m sure we’d all agree that leadership has many different forms and levels. Some people have a talent or gift for leadership that is easy to identify, while in others tends to be more latent or dormant depending on whether they have been encouraged. Case in point: I was leading our creative team at church and asked someone to be on the team who was not an evident leader. His profile up to that point had been to stay in the background although he was serving. I felt there was something more in him and brought him onto the team and encouraged him and discovered an eagle! He just needed someone else to see it and let him know about it. His level of engagement, creativity and leadership went through the roof in a short amount of time.

    I wonder if that is what Jesus saw in Peter?

  11. Oct 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    A great place to start, indeed!

  12. Oct 5, 2009 at 8:03 am

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  13. Oct 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm

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