Amplified Leadership: An Interview with Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor of 12Stone Church


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Recently I caught up with Dan Reiland to talk about his new book, Amplified Leadership. Check out the interview below:

TONY:  You wrote that giving apprentices real responsibility allows them to experience the reality of leadership. What can organizations do to create a path to help young, gifted leaders grow and gain responsibility and authority?

DAN:  I think there are at least three components involved in that process.  First is leadership development. We call it the 2X factor – investing twice as much in as we expect back. In some ways, that’s a metaphor of sorts, because it is difficult to measure. But it creates a clear picture of the culture we strive to have. It’s a leadership culture that drives us to commit to investing in our people, especially the next generation. We have a large number of twenty-somethings on staff and we love their talent, energy, ideas and potential! Second, is an environment of experimentation and learning. I often say, “Make mistakes, make lots of mistakes, even make big mistakes, just don’t make the same mistake twice!”  If they make mistakes and learn, they are growing. That’s a good thing. If they repeatedly make the same mistake, they are not learning! Not good. The third component is empowerment. Without true empowerment (trust, responsibility etc.) there is no true growth path.

TONY:  Many organizations are stuck because they resist change. How do you inspire people to change and teach them how to adapt to it?

DAN:  We teach people that change is not an option. We make change fun. We communicate the positive results of change and we also tell the truth about the price tag of change. But the real truth is that lack of change always carries a greater price tag! At 12Stone we want everyone to “take the journey” with us, but we won’t stop the train if they don’t want to go.

TONY:  What can a young leader do today to prepare to step into a new leadership role tomorrow?

DAN:  Learn the concept of “always content, never satisfied.” So many young, gifted leaders today want to “advance” quickly in their leadership and ministry careers. That’s good, but it can hurt them in the long run. They need to take the time required to actually mature in leadership. Most of us are always driving to the next level, the next mountain, the next improvement. That’s the “never satisfied” part of healthy leadership. Young leaders must also learn how to be “always content” in the moment(s) through that process. Enjoy the experience and savor the relationships! Take the time to learn deep.  Without that, the “never satisfied” part will eat your lunch! It will cause frustration that actually will slow leaders down in the long run.

TONY:  12Stone Church was listed in Outreach Magazine as the #1 fastest-growing church in America in 2010. How have you been able to select the best potential leaders for key positions in your organization?

DAN:  We’re pretty intuitive about that, mostly organic rather than formulaic. That’s the advantage of a leadership culture. Leaders can spot leaders. We have a healthy mix of leaders raised up from the inside and leaders hired from outside. We look for competence, capacity, intelligence, energy and relational savvy.


Dan Reiland serves as the Executive Pastor at 12Stone® Church, near Atlanta, Georgia. Dan loves the local church and has coached church leaders for more than 15 years. See Dan’s leadership writings at www.danreiland.comAmplified Leadership was released in January 2012.


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