How to Help Younger Leaders Grow

One of the highlights in this season of my life is investing in younger leaders as they grow and develop. I am often asked for a conversation, book recommendations, or specific advice about “how can I increase my leadership capacity?”

Recently my friend Keith Webb wrote a fantastic blog post on this topic. He captures some key principles in how to develop younger leaders. In particular, he highlights the critical importance of developing the leader’s heart as much as developing the more visible external skills. In Keith’s words:

“Young leaders feel ready for big, fast and significant. Jesus took a different approach. Jesus viewed leader development as more about who the leader is rather than what he or she can do.

Jesus focused on the internal development of the leader – going in before going out. Because who you are is how you will lead.

What internal development is needed? Young leaders must develop:

  • their influence
  • submission to authority
  • personal integrity
  • relational abilities
  • conflict management
  • and character

The early, small lessons learned in these areas will form the foundation on which a leader stands. Later, when the stakes are high and the pressure is great, the leader who was faithful with little will most likely succeed with much.”

Keith also draws heavily from J. Robert Clinton’s work, The Making of a Leader, which you should consider reading if you haven’t already.

On a personal note: I’ve known Keith for many years since we served together on a school board in Singapore. He is a gifted coach of coaches, and I have sent many of my teammates through his excellent coaching program. Keith blogs regularly at

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

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