Find It Only Here On Friday: Who’s Holding Your Ladder?

Dr. Sam Chand does one thing–Leadership.
His singular vision for his life is to Help Others Succeed.
As a Dream Releaser he serves Pastors, ministries and businesses
as a Leadership Architect and Change Strategist.
Dr. Sam Chand speaks regularly at leadership conferences, churches, corporations,
ministerial conferences, seminars and other leadership development opportunities.

Sam is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Cafe and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday”. His Cafe exclusive “Who’s Holding Your Ladder?” can be found below . . BUT FIRST . . the Cafe thought you just might want to know how an Encouragement Leader like Sam Chand has himself been encouraged in his own faith recently. 

In his own words … 

At various junctures of our lives,
encouragement and affirmation from the Lord are saturated with different meanings and significance.
During this season of my life, I’m most encouraged by our Lord’s supreme sovereignty.
Because He IS I can rest in Him and simply BE.


Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“Who’s Holding Your Ladder?”
by Sam Chand



Waiting for someone to call me … 

into the auditorium, I stared out the window. As I meditated on the points I wanted to cover as a featured speaker at this leadership conference, something in the street below caught my attention.

A man stood on a ladder painting—not that uncommon a sight. I smiled, remembering my student days in college. I had spent my summers doing that kind of work. Yet I couldn’t take my eyes off the man. For several minutes, I watched his graceful motions as he moved his brush and roller across the surface.

As I watched, I noticed that this painter was only covering a limited area. He stretched as far as he could to the left, to the right and even reached above his head. It also occurred to me that he was only going to the height that he was comfortable at, even though the extension ladder he was using could reach much higher.

From my painting experience, I remembered that once I was on the ladder and had the necessary resources, I painted a much larger area before taking the additional time needed to climb down and relocate the ladder.  It was an efficient method.

“Why isn’t he going higher to paint all the way up?  What would allow him to go higher?” I asked myself.  Then I saw the reason—no one was holding his ladder. By himself, the painter couldn’t go any further. He had done everything he could by himself. He needed help.

As I watched his graceful strokes, I realized the leadership parallels. Whether we’re talking about churches, businesses or non-profit organizations, the effectiveness of a leader depends on the person or persons holding the ladder—those who are in support roles.

The height that a visionary leader reaches on the ladder to their vision is not controlled by the leader’s capabilities. It’s not even controlled by how inspiring their vision might be. It’s controlled by who’s holding the ladder.


Then another thought struck me:

Those who hold the ladders are as important as the leaders themselves.

The visionaries could have all the training possible, the most expensive equipment, years of experience and knowledge about painting, and a blend of expertise and passion about their craft. But that’s not the deciding factor. The ladder holder determines the height to which the ladder climber ascends. “That’s it!” I cried aloud. “Those who hold the ladder control the ascent of the visionaries.”

Additionally, a ladder holder who may be very capable with a 20-foot extension ladder (or vision) may not be the person you want holding your 45-foot extension ladder (a new or enlarged vision).  Old ladder holders are rarely adequate at holding new ladders.


My book, Who’s Holding Your Ladder?,  explains this powerful concept. It explains the need for qualified ladder holders and the necessary qualifications, differentiates between leaders and managers, and describes how you can turn your ladder holders into ladder climbers.



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About the author : Samuel Chand

Samuel Chand

Who would have thought, when in 1973 "student" Dr. Sam Chand was serving Beulah Heights Bible College as janitor, cook and dishwasher, that he would return in 1989 as "President" of the same college! Under his leadership it became the country's largest predominantly African-American Bible College. Dr. Sam Chand is a former Pastor, college President, Chancellor and now serves as President Emeritus of Beulah Heights University.

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