What to Look for in a Co-Leader

February 20, 2007 | Comments Off on What to Look for in a Co-Leader

Who would be a good co-leader? Your co-leader should have a good mix of leadership qualities. However, they may be dormant or under-developed. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to identify POTENTIAL–and then to help that potential develop into leadership.

You’ll want to try to select someone you feel has gifts, talents, or strengths that complement yours. For example, I simply detest making phone calls, so I prefer to choose a friendly co-leader who likes and has time for personal follow-up.

To answer Kathleen’s question about personality conflicts, be aware that since your co-leader is your counterpart, he or she may not be your best friend. In fact, you may find yourself frustrated at times with the very assets you selected the person for. It’s a lot like marriage. Those aspects of your partner that best counterbalance your weaknesses will probably be the very ones that drive you crazy!

If your group will include only men or only women, your choice is obvious. If, however, you have a mixed group, I strongly recommend that you choose a co-leader of the opposite sex. This may be your wife (or husband), or it may be another member with leadership potential and interest.

Our singles group had a male leader and a female co-leader for each discussion group. It worked well because the female co-leader was often more intuitive and could pick up on subtle needs or body language that raced right past many of the men. The co-leader was also freer to focus on a need that the leader was missing by simply saying, “Wait a minute. I think Ruth is trying to make a different point.” Or “Tom, how do you feel about what Jill said?” Discussions became much more meaningful with a perceptive co-leader.

Several years ago I was part of geographically based Bible study group that included both couples and singles. Each group had a leader and a co-leader–both men. I was often frustrated to see what was to most of the women very clear non-verbal communication–or even verbal communication–flying right by both male leaders. This group could have been much more effective by tapping into the God-given strengths of both sexes.

So in selecting a co-leader, look for leadership potential, complementary gifts, and balance.

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