SOME leaders cannot mentor others into leadership because they are afraid that their post might be taken.
Scholars concur that there is no leadership excellence without a successor and above all neither can there be success in leadership without proper mentorship.
Today we engage Collen Nyathi. He has two books to his name and he leads 217 Harvest House International Churches across the globe.
I loved his excerpts on leadership mentorship:
JN: Before we delve into much, what’s your definition of leadership?
CN: The simple definition for me is that a leader is not born so neither is it genetic, but it’s both. It’s a combination of being mentored as well as being born with some traits of leadership.
JN: Can one rise to leadership, let’s say they were born poor and from a disadvantaged family? Can they be influential and recognised?
CN: I am one good example. Born in a family of nine and in extreme poverty. I had never eaten chicken and never wore a pair of shoes until I was in Grade Seven.
My vision was to eat boiled eggs, because I grew up seeing other people eating boiled eggs, but today I am a leader of 217 churches.
So your background has nothing to do with who you become, what matters is who mentors you and the exposure you get over time, the books you read and the associations you make. All that contributes to you being an extremely good leader.
JN: One author I admire, John C Maxwell says leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less. What’s your take on influence?
CN: The most introverted person will affect over 10 000 people in their lifetime. What more a man of God or woman of God with the power of the Holy Spirit in them. You are bound to influence as many and truly leadership is influence. It’s either you are influencing for good or bad.
JN: There is a thin line between management and leadership. Would you juxtapose the two?
CN: Management is different from leadership. In fact, management is not leadership. Management is presiding over the status quo, whereas leadership is to have vision and the ability to motivate people towards that vision. Cast out a vision and begin to slowly to implement it and move someone or a group of people towards that goal. Leaders are visionary people.
JN: There are ring leaders who are leading people towards the negative. What’s your take!
CN: Yes, leaders can be either for good or for bad. But when we are talking of good leadership, we are talking of men and women who can move people from negative situations to positive situations in their lifetime or in a given time.
JN: Talking or training and grooming other leaders — tell us more on that and the impact it has.
CN: For us as Harvest House International, our target is to have 1 000 churches in the next five years. So if you have such a target, you have to raise leaders. We have what we call a Joshua Generation of Leaders.
So our first intake was 500 trainees of the age between 18 to 35 years. Those graduated in the year 2013 and those we will send to other nations.
JN: Leadership is not just taking a stroll in the park or being on the frontline. What your encouragement to those in leadership or intending to be.
CN: Yes, leadership is not a stroll in the park. Leadership is a deliberate effort one takes to influence people to a certain goal and, therefore, needs discipline. When you cast a vision, it does not necessarily mean you are getting there. It needs an ingredient called commitment or fortitude.
Then you begin to walk people towards that vision. It means small steps towards a greater vision.
JN: For starters, at times you don’t have the money and the needed resources.
CN: As I have always told people; where ever there is a vision, there is a gap between it and provision. That gap is called holy frustration.
Then that gap makes you to depend on God to get resources to achieve that vision. That gap says to (God): lean on me and I will supply all the resources to get there.
JN: Some people want to jump the gun. I believe for one to be great they need to ply the journey, but some people want just to be at the top instantly and at times using unorthodox means. This could be in the corporate world or in the political arena.
CN: If you do that you miss a lot. In my book Different Levels of Anointing, I say there is a difference between a calling and commissioning.
God calls you, He prepares you and then He commissions you. If you miss the preparatory stage you arrive there immaturely and therefore you are bound to fall back.
It’s very important that we all become patient and go through the stage of preparation. Preparation comes in many ways; it can come through training, mentoring and even through tough leaders that are leading you. As a politician when you arrive there immaturely, you are bound to abuse power because you don’t know what it takes to be there.
JN: To young people who are dreaming to be at the top, at times there is a tendency to talk about that to other people before hand. Is it worth talking about?
CN: I would say it depends on who you talk to. Whenever you are sharing a visions find people that won’t kill your vision. Joseph (in the Bible) for example did it prematurely to his brothers and they began to envy him. He nearly lost his life because he did not know which platform to share his vision.
That’s why we have fathers in the kingdom (of God). Find fathers that will nurture you and protect your vision. If you share it with anyone, they might kill you for it and you die for a right thing because you lacked wisdom on when to share your vision.
JN: You talked of fathers, who are they? What’s their importance in leadership?
CN: The whole structure of the kingdom is about fatherhood and son ship. You find that if you eliminate that you have people that are not accountable to anyone. They maybe anointed, but the danger of someone anointed without a mentor is that there is no one who speaks into their life and therefore disaster, chaos and error comes in.
Whenever you have a father, you have someone to guide you and propel you to greater heights, but above all protect the grace and the anointing that’s upon you. They are able to speak into your life without fear of whatever grace you have.
But if you have people that are always praising you continuously without warning you, that’s not right.
JN: Some people learn from tele-celebities. Is there any danger of just taking their traits without knowing their background?
CN: You cannot know people 100%, but it’s better to know someone to a certain degree before you jump into what they have or associate with them because there is what we call impartation by association.
If you bring someone close to you, who has a certain characteristic, if they are stronger of character that you, that thing will rub into you. So it best to know someone to some degree before you associate with them.
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