April 25, 2019
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DR#: 18 The Leader’s Crucial Task: Nurturing Potential Leaders


Once potential leaders in your school have been identified, the real work begins of helping to form them into the leaders they can become. Our schools can more effectively attend to the goal of meeting their missions if those in leadership training are nurtured through a relationship that extends well beyond the exchange of work for a paycheck.

In chapter four on “Nurturing Potential Leaders”in Developing The Leaders Around You John Maxwell suggests several strategies for transforming people’s lives and forming them in their leadership potential through nurturing. It all starts with our willingness to model the qualities of leadership we are hoping to nurture in others – strong work ethic, responsibility, character, openness, consistency, communication, and belief in people.

With the special role we play in leadership, two crucial steps in meeting our responsibility to form others in our charism are to choose a leadership model for ourselves and then to establish and follow guidelines for mentoring.

In this directed reading, you will learn the key components of a successful mentoring relationship. Maxwell suggests several crucial factors for the development of personal and professional relationships to mentor future leaders in our schools. Among these are building trust, offering time, giving encouragement, and establishing support systems. The questions for journaling will challenge us to examine our readiness to commit to mentoring relationships with those people in our schools who have leadership potential.

Through this reading, the participant will:

  • reflect on the leadership model you chose for yourself at one time and understand how important that choice was in your leadership development;
  • understand eleven crucial factors in building personal and professional relationships that can lead to leadership formation;
  • gain a deeper understanding of how best to choose those in your school with leadership potential to mentor.
  • Developing The Leaders Around You, by John Maxwell, Chapter Four: “Nurturing Potential Leaders”
Options for Additional Readings
  • André Coindre: Writings and Documents 1 – Letters 1821-1826; pages 7-46
  • Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership; Strength of Relationships section; pages 175-292
Suggestions for Journal Reflection
  1. Who did you choose as a leadership model for yourself? (It could have been more than one person.) Were you aware at the time that you were deciding to use their leadership style as a model? What were the characteristics of his or her leadership style that attracted you? Which of these most clearly resonates with the educational charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart?
  2. Which of Maxwell’s eleven crucial factors in building personal and professional relationships comes most naturally to you as a leader? Which is the most challenging? What steps do you take to overcome your challenge in that area?
  3. Use Maxwell’s “Discern and Personalize the Potential Leader’s Journey” steps on pages 80-82 and imagine yourself mentoring a potential leader in your school. Choose a person and reflect on how specifically you would follow these steps.


Help me to be clear about my mission; 
to spend my time working on what is deepest and truest and most inspiring.

Guide me to see things differently 
and always be willing to look at situations in new and enlivening ways.

Challenge me to do the difficult things;
to face difficult tasks with strength and resolve.

Encourage me to look to others, 
taking time to embrace them in each holy moment.

Remind me that only you know the total plan and my part in it; 
help me to do what you ask willingly.

Help me to release and forgive others, 
knowing that what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Let me see my work with people as my greatest joy,
my greatest gift, 
and my greatest accomplishment.

Allow me to believe in the good of others.

Give me the strength to call the question, 
make decisions, 
and take action.

Help me to take as many people to the top with me as possible.

Remind me always
that nobody wins until we all do 
so that I will eagerly assist others toward the greatest good.


(From Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership, Laurie Beth Jones) 

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