So You Want a Deep Bench

One of the things every and every leader wants is a deep bench. That’s a sports metaphor that means having a lot of quality people on your team. Tomorrow Miami and Oklahoma will begin Game 1 for the NBA Finals. Both teams have gotten this far because of their stars, but also because of key bench players coming up big in difficult times.

Please, let's not get divisive about who you're rooting for. We have YouTube Comments sections for that.

A common observation of people regarding our church and movement is the number of leaders on all levels. And people ask how this is done. To be honest, it’s been a priority from the beginning and always remains one as a quick look through the blogs of a number of the leaders will show. We know that new leaders are the lifeblood of an organization. Strategies and models get old, technology can become obsolete, locations change, but leaders – men and women who are skilled, passionate, and united – will be able to hurdle whatever challenge may come.

So how do I get a deep bench? I’ve been thinking about this a lot watching a number of teams in action this past summer. Here are some common points I observed.

1. Make sure you really want one first.

As appealing as it may sound, having a deep bench has its disadvantages. For one, if you’re the leader, you’ll have to give up some of your prime leadership opportunities to give others a chance. It means you won’t be getting credit for things that other people used to applaud you for. During our recent South Luzon Convergence in Los Baños, I watched our National Director, CJ Nunag, lead the whole event, but didn’t get up onstage until he gave announcements to end the event and appreciate the staff. He gave up all the slots to other preachers, leaders, and hosts. Could he have done it? Yes. Would he have been better? Most definitely. But to him, getting a deep bench was worth it.

Some leaders may say they want a deep bench, but when faced with the cost of giving up the limelight, or even getting replaced by better leaders, they resist. So before doing the next points, think about it first. If you’re happy with where you are, then great. If staying small and ineffective doesn’t bother you, then excellent. But if you want your message to get across and impact people, and you’ll do anything to do it, even step aside if necessary, then read on.

2. Give people a chance.

That’s a little obvious after the first point. But it takes a skilled, artful leader to maximize these opportunities everyday. I appreciate people like Pastor Ferdie Cabiling who’s a Jedi Master in discovering these openings. Any speaking, serving, leading opportunity was quickly delegated to new leaders who could benefit from the experience.

If you play video games, think of it like an RPG. For new players, the slightest enemy kill gives experience points (XP) that allow them to level up. When your character is a high level, these basic kills are negligible to your character, but they could be a big jump to a newbie. Don’t be greedy! Share those slots with people and watch your team level up.

You'll need leveled up teammates to take on the bigger challenges.

I’ve got three more points that I’ll post tomorrow. Nothing great is ever accomplished alone, so I hope this will help you go out there and build great teams to do great things!


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