Get ready to launch.
Get ready to launch. (Pexels)

Leadership development. Perhaps no other business topic receives more marketplace attention than how to become a better leader. Thousands of books and tens of thousands of articles, blogs and white papers spout an endless array of how to's and leadership best practices.

Here are three leadership development launch platforms with my suggestion on the best place to launch your leadership development journey. 

Launch Platform #1: Natural Leadership Development

Natural leadership development focuses on your depth of skill, knowledge and attitudes (SKA in adult-education vernacular). It begins with your purported in-born natural strengths and most often attempts to coach you up on your leadership weaknesses. My conservative estimation is that 98 percent of all leadership development materials in the marketplace fall within the natural leadership category.

A focus on natural leadership development missed the mark in three big ways. First, it wastes significant time and money to fix so-called weaknesses rather than maximizing your strengths. Third, it limits you to only what is obvious in the natural and ignores anything in the supernatural—where the Spirit of the Lord lives.

Note: I am not castigating a natural leadership focus. In fact, I use it to coach up many of my business and pastoral coaching clients to ensure they maximize their leadership strengths and make their weaknesses irrelevant. Contact me at to learn more.

Launch Platform #2: Spiritual Leadership Development

Spiritual leadership development primarily focuses on how to integrate biblical principles at work. Most Christian-based CEO forums, conferences and business books attempt to uncover practical ways to make biblical principles and integrating them into the workplace. However noble, spiritual leadership misses the mark in several ways.

The primary issue with spiritual leadership development focus is to wrap a Bible verse around a conventional business approach, attempting to justify an already-existing business best practices with a Word. Although not inherently bad, this approach is common in both secular and even Christian business conferences.

How do I know this? For over 30 years, I have spoken at hundreds of secular and Christian business events, where I have personally heard what any objective listener would classify as unbelieving and baby believers attempt to sound "spiritual" by attaching a Bible verse to their personal leadership models. And frightening as it may sound, I notice the audience often nodding their heads in agreement to any "spiritual" reference, then rushing out to buy their products and services, without stepping back to judge its truth.

Again, I am not slamming spiritual leadership development as unworthy of your time, attention, or investment. On the contrary, I have developed a list of 55 Critical Resources for Believers in Business that summarizes some of the best conferences, blogs, apps, books and more in the Christian business market. Click here to download your free copy.

My caution is simple: if spiritual leadership is where you decide to launch your leadership development, always judge all ideas presented upon the Word, and do not simply assume the ideas are biblical just because they sound "spiritual."

Launch Platform #3: Supernatural Leadership Development

Supernatural leadership development focuses on assessing and unleashing your five-fold leadership gifts (Eph. 4:11). It starts with how Jesus supernaturally gifted you, and from there, determines how to best grow and release your gifts.

In faith circles, supernatural leadership development is without question the fastest growing area of leadership training today. Thousands of believers in business across the world are sensing a mighty move of Holy Spirit to help them lead their businesses to amazing new levels of prosperity and impact through unleashing their supernatural leadership gifts.

Supernatural leadership development starts with an assessment of your anointed five-fold gifts, not your inborn natural skills or some biblically-wrapped business principles. As you discover your unique supernatural leadership gift cluster, Holy Spirit then becomes your teacher (John 16:13). He directs you as to what biblical truths and revelations you need (spiritual leadership) and what leadership execution skills you need to enhance (natural leadership).

Where to Start

If you would like to launch your supernatural leadership development journey, I encourage you to download my free Anointed to Lead i25 Survey that uncovers your supernatural leadership gifting. Click here to download.

My exhortation to you is to begin your leadership development process by recognizing and unleashing the gifts Jesus has given you. Then allow Holy Spirit to guide you along the way.

Dr. Jim Harris is the author of 14 award-winning business books including Our Unfair Advantage: Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Business. Download his free tool, 55 Critical Resources for Believers in Business. Connect with Dr. Jim on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Mark Rutland deconstructs the man after God's own heart in David the Great. Explore of the the Bible's most complex stories of sin and redemption. Discover the real David.

The one verb most frequently missing from leadership manifestos is LOVE. Dr. Steve Greene teaches in order to be an effective leader in every area of life, you must lead with love. Lead with Love.

Your ministry's future depends on how you develop leaders using five practices to establish influence, build people, and impact others for a lifetime. Amplify Your Leadership.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders