Step Two In Developing An Inner Circle

This is the fourth post in a series about developing your own inner circle of leadership in your company. I am following the three-step process outlined in Dave Anderson’s How to Run Your Business by The Book. In my last post, we discussed how to identify your inner circle and how to intentionally invest in their development. Now we will turn our attention to the next step in the process – Give up power to go up higher!

inner circle

You Cannot Do It Alone

If you have been in business for long, you already know that you cannot do it all alone! If you want to grow and expand your business (and the eternal impact that comes as a result), then you must learn to get more done through others rather than doing it all yourself.

Giving up control is tough for most business owners and leaders – even when it is a simple task. So asking them to give up real power and authority to anyone else is almost incomprehensible! Unfortunately, this very issue causes many entrepreneurs to fail (worst case) or stunts their growth (best case).

Give Up Power To Your Inner Circle

If we are going to avoid this issue, we must learn to give up power in order to grow. In the context of our inner circle of leadership, this is going to require us to give up more than just day-to-day tasks to them. We must be able to let go of some of the more executive tasks as well.

Of course, this is not a step to be taken lightly. Nor is it a step that should be taken quickly. We must slowly and methodically grow into this or we could run into serious trouble.

Examples From The Bible

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of giving up power from the Bible. First, consider Acts 6:1-7. The early church ran into a situation where there was too much for the twelve disciples to do alone so they were forced to delegate some of the daily tasks to others.

Note verse 7 in particular – “So the preaching about God flourished, the number of the disciples in Jerusalem multiplied greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.” As a result of their wise delegation, the church saw tremendous growth!

What about Jesus’ actions in Luke 10:1-12? Here He sent out 70 disciples and gave them power over demons and power to heal the sick. He gave them clear instructions about what He wanted done and how He wanted it done. What was their response when they returned to Jesus in verse 17? “They returned with joy!” What about Jesus’ response in verse 21? “In that same hour, He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit…” It looks to me like it was a success!

Practical Tips

What can we learn from Jesus’ example here? Here are some practical tips we can pick up from this passage.

    1. Give clear instructions and expectations – Jesus was very specific in His instructions to the disciples. When delegating to your inner circle, don’t expect them to know what you are thinking. Make clear your vision of the process and the expected results. This will help you to avoid many problems!
    2. Have them report back – Jesus did not just send them out and hope they did what He asked. He had them report back to Him with their results. We don’t know if there was a specific time frame for this reporting back, but that certainly would be helpful if it makes sense. This puts urgency in the process.
    3. Coach them upon their return – Jesus was clearly pleased with their results (v.21), but He also took the opportunity to coach them in verses 18-20. This is critical for their development and future growth.
    4. Celebrate success and build them up – As we see from verses 21, Jesus was excited about their progress. He praised God and “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” when they returned. He also took an extra moment to build them up and strengthen their confidence in verses 22-23. Don’t miss this step if you want your inner circle to continue to grow!

What else can we learn from Jesus in developing our inner circle?

Are you willing to give up some of your power in order to grow?

What is the first step for you to take?

(Originally posted 10/20/11)

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  • I’m not real good about stepping back. I have a certain way I like things. But I find when I do, it unleashes the creativity of others and they often find even better ways to do things. Good post and timely series

    • Thanks David. I am the same as you…I like the way I do it and often have a hard time delegating or handing off the lead on a project (often, my posts are about the very struggles I have). But like you, when I do, I am most often pleased with the results!

  • Give clear instructions … This is one bit of advice I should have down pat by now. Why? Because I’ve felt the consequences of incomplete instructions (whether I’ve given them or received them). As an author, I know that the reader doesn’t know anything unless I’ve included it in a scene. A fill-in-the-blanks telling of a story frustrates people. I’m sure the same can be said of those who have responsibilities within a business but insufficient information to move forward with confidence.

    • Great comparison, Tom. That is exactly right!