It's Hi-Risk.  Hi-Adventure.  Uber Creative.  And one of life’s greatest honors.

But, it’s not learned in a classroom. 

aboutLEADING offers game-changing insights for the trenches of life and leadership


Where do you land? Are leaders born or made?


My answer: YES.


But more importantly, it ultimately doesn't matter. Leadership development is a life-long process. As long as the world we live in keeps changing, the challenges of leadership will continue to change and demand more of us. The skills you master to meet today's challenges will be insufficient before too long. Technology changes. Culture changes. Workplace expectations change. We change. Heck, as I write this, the entire world is in uncharted territory in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Most substances require pressure to change and people are no different. Learning to lead is a journey that happens in the trenches of life--in the place where the pressures are real and the results of your efforts are obvious. Leaders are not formed in a classroom. 

In those trenches, life is changing at light speed. When I graduated from college, personal computers didn't exist. Literally, they did not exist. All of our term papers were produced using carbon paper and white-out--ask your grandparents to explain that one. Or, how about this one. Just twenty years ago my colleagues and I considered the possibility of delivering all of our "printed" resources online. We could save a ton of money by skipping the hardcopy hassle of printing and shipping. But, we couldn't make that move. In 2000 about 50% of the ministry leaders we worked with did not use email. I know, that sounds like crazy talk.

The point is this, a changing world requires constant change and growth of leaders. Without ongoing development we travel the path of increasing irrelevance.

However, leadership development is not the wild wild west of hit or miss uncertainty. After years of studying this subject, I am convinced that there are three major domains in which leaders need to grow and develop. They provide a filter for assessment and identifying needs. Those three domains: personal identity; robust competency; and spiritual authority. At some point I will write extensively about these three domains, but for now I offer them as a lens through which you might consider your own personal development.

Those of us who became leaders in the church or other ministry endeavors were trained with a bias on content, but not trained to lead. At Bible College or Seminary, we were taught Greek, Hebrew, Bible, Theology, and a host of other “...ologies.” We weren't trained to navigate the myriad expectations and challenges of leading people and organizations. 

This is my tribe and this is my story. We spent decades learning the hard way. We slogged our way through the trenches, foraged about in the weeds, and often fumbled the ball as we tried to figure out how to lead people effectively. Even when we figured out the basic stuff, we were thrown into the deep end of the pool to figure out how to thrive on a personal level while we gave our energies to helping others. I think most of us have learned that without robust competency, secure personal identity, and spiritual authority, leadership challenges will eat your lunch and break your heart.

I make no claim to be an expert in the whole field of leadership. None of us are experts in what will be needed tomorrow. I just know that I have been in the leadership development business for over 40 years and maybe some of the things I've picked up will shorten your learning curve. Just maybe one of those nuggets that helped me will unleash your impact and influence. (For a description on how these lessons emerged, see my "Launch Day" post.)

aboutLEADING is my personal project. It is a mechanism for giving away what I've discovered from and for the trenches of real-world leadership. Everything you find here comes out of the hard knocks of my own personal experience and the result of walking with other leaders for decades.


Take what you find and use it freely. Copy, quote, share, incorporate these ideas and tools in your context. The only thing I ask, is that you give credit to me as the author and to this website as your source you got it from. 


© 2020 by Gary Mayes