Leadership Development Through Opportunity

There are very specific and well-documented methodologies used to develop leaders.  Companies spend tremendous amounts of money annually to sponsor training sessions, workshops, retreats and the like for such purpose.  Trainers are well versed in tried and true strategies, which they impart to their charges with the hopes that at least some will take the knowledge gained in their workshops and implement them in real ways and on a consistent basis.

Having said that, I’ve found that one of the most effective ways to develop leaders is to simply provide them with opportunities.  The interesting thing is, you may be conscious of providing such opportunities, or you may not.

For instance, when I developed The Berlack Method, I wasn’t thinking of developing specific leaders or providing anyone with leadership opportunities.  I was thinking of my business as a one man show, with me doing all of the developmental and facilitation work.  But one day, while discussing The Berlack Method with my sister, Verna Fludd Johnson, she mentioned to me that I should seriously consider starting a Facebook group page.  After several hours of discussing the potential benefits of such a page, both to the company and to the people who would be members, I told her that I would indeed consider it.

After several days, I had not as yet begun work on the page.  When my sister inquired about it, I truthfully told her that I was enthused about starting the page, but had been busy with other developmental work.  That’s all I needed to say, apparently.  My sister, without encouragement from me, told me bluntly that the page will be created and not to worry about it.  Within hours, she alerted me to check online and find my new page: The Berlack Method Group.  I was astounded to find that the group already included several members, and they were already interacting and discussing topics related to my workshops.  One of the earliest administrators and co-creator of the group was Maria Garrett, a close friend of my sister’s whom I had never met personally.  The two of them did all of the work, including gathering information, preparing and implementing the banner display, posting group rules for interaction, inviting the initial members, etc.  I was astounded, and quite humbled, to see that I was no longer the only leader in The Berlack Method.

Very early in the group’s history, a dear friend, Shauna Carter, became a group administrator.  I had no idea what a God-send she would be.  Initially, because the group bared my name, I felt wholly responsible for it, and made a point of continuously posting topics for discussion and generally interacting with members.  As I became busier with development work for The Berlack Method, however, I had less time to devote to the group.  From time to time I would pop back in to post or check out what was going on, and over time, I was again astounded.  Not only had the group flourished, but it has now grown to over 1,200 members and counting.  Shauna, without encouragement from me, became the leader of the group, posting many times daily, from deep, emotional topics for discussion, to frivolous, light-hearted pictures meant to lighten members’ days, to music videos to jam to.  Others followed suit, so that now the group has its “usual suspects” that can be counted on the keep the members hopping with news, entertainment, serious discussion, helpful tips, camaraderie, support for members who are struggling with different issues/life events, and even love.

As I continue to jump into the Berlack Method Group water and wade around from time to time, I am humbled to know that the group that bares my name is not about me.  Through no conscious effort of mine, leaders like Verna, Maria and Shauna have taken their administrative places within the group, and are having a tremendous daily impact on the lives of over 1,200 people across the country.  Members who have lost loved ones now post to the group for support, people struggling with issues of faith, family, politics or community now engage the group for ideas, members peruse the group’s posts for news, or sit in while members host a Berlack Method Group throwback jam session, posting music videos from back in the day, laughing at each other about old hair styles and dance moves.

And as one of my last surprises, I happened to visit the group recently to find that we had a new banner.  It sat bright and proud at the top of the group page, and I was astounded at how much I loved it, and how I had nothing to do with its creation or implementation.  The group truly was its own entity.  Though it bares my name, The Berlack Method Group is a reflection of its true parents: Verna Fludd Johnson, Maria Garrett and Shauna Carter.  Leaders who needed nothing more than an opportunity to shine.  And shine they did, to the tune of helping over a thousand people get through the day with some joy, laughter, friendship, knowledge and love.  Who knows how many thousands more, family and friends of Berlack Method Group members, are positively impacted day to day?

Come on by and see the work of true leaders: https://www.facebook.com/groups/180828168633066/

Developing leadership is a gift.  But sometimes, developing leaders is simply a matter of providing opportunities for people to shine.  Even if you aren’t conscious of being a developer of leaders, take action.  Do what you are purposed to do.  Who knows what leaders will take their place by your side?

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1 Response to "Leadership Development Through Opportunity"

  • The BMG has been a refreshing place to be since I joined the group almost 2 years now and it adds flavor to my days. There is always something refreshing, interesting, sad or light to give thought to. The posts are always thought-provoking and/or mellow to the mind, so here’s to the leaders and founders of BMG. To Steve: thanks for letting the page fly! To the readers: be there and let your inner champion get it’s groove on too.

    Thanks BMG for sharing with me.

    Yevonne Fresquez

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