When leadership development revolves around us, our focus will become our student’s focus. When we don’t allow our students to be themselves, or when we fail to individualize our teaching to our students, we begin to turn out cookie-cutter leadership versions of ourselves.
I’ve seen it happen before. Our students start to talk like us, start to act like us, and start to focus on the very things that we are focusing on. It’s eerie, and kind of flattering; but it’s dangerous.
When we see this happening, we should immediately take it as a warning. We don’t want them to be exactly like us. We want them to be what God has made them to be; to lead like God has created them to lead.
So, while it’s fun, flattering, and easier to teach a mini-me, when we do so we are not doing right by our students. We are ultimately responsible to these young men and women. We are responsible for teaching them and helping them develop as God created them to, not as we’d like them to, or as it would be easier for us.