The Perspective Grid – An Easy to Use Tool for Assessing and Developing Leadership Potential

The perspective grid above is a great tool to have in your leadership toolbox when it comes to determining where someone might be on the leadership ladder. You can use it to assess yourself and others. Try to think as specifically as you can about the area of leadership you are assessing. Someone may be a Leader / Learner in ministry while they are a Catalyst in their family and home life. By using the grid you can determine the current probable perspective of an individual and the root causes in a given leadership situation.

As a starting point, let’s just define the terms of the two axis of the quadrant;

Awareness simply means to have knowledge. To understand reality. To be able to rightly interpret the truths of your situation. These would include, but not be limited to:

  • Self Awareness – Strengths – Growth Areas – Core Traits
  • Calling – Passion – Purpose – Potential
  • Roles – Leadership opportunities
  • Resources – Ingredients for success

Alignment can be defined and understood in many terms: submission, obedience, allegiance, calibration, positioning. But, ultimately it is choosing to completely and wholly agree with the next step awareness that you currently have towards growth.

The Rebel – Is a person who has high awareness of the realities of what needs to be done to maximize potential, but because of his low alignment, he refuses to go along with it in action. He refuses to color inside the lines. He likes to be independent, dislikes being led by others and dislikes authority. He is resistant to change and embraces self. He fears loss of freedom.

The Drifter – Is a person who has both low awareness and low alignment. He is like a boat on the water with no anchor. He goes where the wind blows in ignorant bliss. He seem clueless, and he likes it that way. He fears discipline, direction and structure. The good news is, he can be rescued with diligent leadership coaching.

The Leader / Learner – Is the person who has a high desire to align with what they do know to be true. The amount of awareness may be low or new, but he can’t wait to align with it and grow into his next level. He embraces being transformed by the renewing of the mind. This position has the ability to lead others as far as he has already gone. He is motivated to learn and experience new challenges. He fears deterioration back to the former self. If not led and coached well he may slip into drifting.

The Catalyst – Is a person who has spent many years in the Leader / Learner phase and has a long history of ongoing growth. He embraces growth fully and is always climbing a new personal leadership mountain. He is a catalyzer because he has grown beyond his own leadership journey and/or simply developing other leaders. He is in a position to create a multi leader movement revolving around his specific calling and effectiveness. He is well versed in the leadership coaching needs and necessities of the other three categories. He fears not making a difference, even if it takes a lifetime of work.

Our ability to identify and respond accordingly to each of these variables is key in our ability to lead ourselves and others well. Each category must be communicated with and nurtured in very unique ways. Each one must be coached in a specific way and given customized opportunities for leadership development. (Future posts to come on this issue.)

There is no finish line in the leadership journey. As a result, even Catalyzers have a lifetime of growth ahead of them. No one can claim that they have “arrived” regardless of position on the grid. We can only strive to be moving towards greater awareness and alignment so that we have a proper perspective and motivation. There will always be more to learn and barriers to break down.

I hope you find this an easy concept to apply to your team and your circle of influence. How have you seen these roles played out in your life and ministry?


About Ken McGarity

With vast experience as a successful entrepreneur and active in ministry leadership for many years, Ken McGarity is most recently engaged as a Church Growth Consultant and Strategist, as well as Christian Leadership Coach to today’s up and coming Christian leaders.

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