If you’re not careful, the position of leadership can be emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting to you. One major thing that can help is to intentionally choose whom to spend your time with.

There are four people groups that leaders find themselves working with.

  1. Recovery, the Emotionally Unhealthy. This group falls into a time waste for leaders. These people are at Point A. And that’s wonderful! You want them in your realm. But unfortunately, we are not all-powerful beings who can directly minister to everyone. In the church crowd, this is the group that are in a dark place. In other crowds, this is the beginner group. So if you are a leader in personal finance, this would be the group that is still heavily in debt.
  2. Personal Attention, the Emotionally Immature. This group also falls into a time waste for leaders. These people are at Point B. They are finally paying attention to themselves, which will be a great place for development later. But at this current stage, they are still emotionally immature and will probably press hard for your mentorship. In the church crowd, this is the crew that has been coming for a while, but haven’t yet pushed deeply into growth. In other businessess, this is the group that buys the lowest access entry to your leadership, but haven’t really invested.
  3. Personal Development, the Emotionally Stable (not distracted!). This group falls into business builders. These are the people who have a really good chance of sticking around your business and helping it grow. They are the pool you can look at for your next leaders. They are serious, earnest, and intentionally looking to grow and develop themselves. In the church crowd, these are your members.
  4. Leaders, the Emotionally Giving. This group falls into business builders. Now this is the group you invest in. These people have shown their loyalty and their passion for your vision. They give back to others, and take care of the first three groups. In a church, these people would be your volunteers and staff. In real estate educational course, this group would be your mastermind group. You walk with them and mentor them in the truest sense.

The key is that you need to divide your time appropriately. Of course you cannot ignore any part of your following or of the people you serve. But you do need to put boundaries in place to protect yourself.

The fact is that the majority of your following are going to fall into the first three genres. This will likely make up almost 80% of your group—and yet you should only be spending 20% of your time with them.

On the other hand, the last group, your leaders-in-training, only make up maybe 20% of your people. But you want to spend 80% of your time with them! This is the group that can then filter down and minister to the people below them. This is because the leaders you are leading have people they need to lead too.

The true heart of leadership is to replicate yourself. You want to replicate yourself in other leaders so that you can create a legacy. You pass something down when you train someone up. This was Jesus’ plan when he invested His best years into twelve disciples – to build something that, in replicating person by person, could spread revolutionary ideas around the entire globe.

I’m still developing what this looks like in these new two non-profits. With the real estate roundtable we held last week, I experimented in devoting a lot of time to the third and fourth group. When I host my bigger conferences, I’m getting to meet people from all four groups.

By training your people up through these levels, you replicate your vision. Of course, not everyone is going to graduate to level four. But that’s okay. You need every group in your following. That’s what gives you a rounded crowd. But by choosing to allocate your time carefully, you will protect yourself from exhaustion and burnout—and replicate yourself in the process!

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