While browsing at a local bookstore recently, I found a book that captured my attention. It's a leadership gem by the late Dr. Myles Munroe titled Passing It On with the subtitle, “Growing Your Future Leaders.”
Dr. Munroe founded and chaired the International Third World Leaders Association, an organization devoted to training and developing leaders in more than 80 developing nations. He authored some 45 books, but this one—which has been called the pinnacle of his writings—is the first that I’ve read. I was particularly interested in his perspective, since he was of African descent with extensive experience in leading and mentoring. I was not disappointed in reading it.
Here are some quotes from the book to whet your appetite:
“The greatest act of leadership is mentoring. No matter how much you may learn, achieve, accumulate, or accomplish, if it all dies with you, then you are a generational failure.”
“This lack of willingness, desire, understanding, and interest in mentoring is the greatest curse and weakness of our twenty-first century leaders.”
“The highest manifestation of true leadership is to identify one’s replacement and to begin mentoring him or her.”
“It is not what leaders achieve that counts. It is what they transfer.”
“Losing a lifetime of leadership achievement to an unprepared generation is the highest violation of leadership responsibility.”
“The greatest act of leadership is not attaining it. It is releasing leadership. I would estimate that ninety percent of all leaders fail in this area.”
Throughout the book, Dr. Munroe presented many helpful ideas on leadership, such as passing on your vision, preserving your legacy, choosing someone to mentor, and pursuing quality mentoring. Dr. Munroe drew many examples from the life and work of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels and also from his personal experience.
After reading this book, I came away feeling very privileged to have several mentors who have spoken and continue to speak into my life. Because of these investments, I am honored and encouraged to be able to mentor others. In fact, I’m committed to this process for the rest of my life.
Bob and Ginny De Haan have mentored Deb and me for more than 40 years. Not long ago, we spent several days with them, sharing our lives and praying together. They are an amazing couple and a delight not only to us but to countless others whose lives they continue to touch. We thank God for them always.
Think you are too old? Check out God’s promises to 99-year-old Abraham: “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly” (Genesis 17:1-2). In addition, “indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:17-18).
Perhaps there is someone in your life you can learn from and/or someone you feel led to mentor. I trust you will choose to “pass on the blessings,” because God has richly blessed you.
Who comes to mind? What knowledge and experience can you transfer?
Bob Reusser directs the Nav Encore Mission of The Navigators. You can learn more about his ministry here.