See, the difference between leading and leadering is that leading is an extraordinarily rare event: one person getting it right for 20 seconds instead of 5 seconds. And in those 20 seconds, getting enough right, and getting it right enough, that the precious, gooey rightness can be shared with others. When some of this precious, gooey shared rightness gives an entire group a bit of an edge for a while, we call it leading.
Given the default randomness of the human condition, and the extreme power of compound interest, a little bit of leading goes a long way. Many thriving corporations, for instance, live out their entire lifespans fueled by about five minutes of actual leadership. Sometimes those five minutes can even be attributed to the person who later graduates to full-time leadering.
Episodes of actual leading are rare enough that they do not constitute pervasive, persistent and effective behavior patterns. So we do not in fact need a noun like leadership. Most of what passes for leadership is in fact systematic and self-serving misunderstanding of the pervasive, persistent and ineffective (but mostly harmless) behavior patterns corresponding to the verb leadering.
Leadering is the art of creating a self-serving account of whatever is already happening, and inserting yourself into it in a prominent role. This requires doing things that don’t mess with success (and the baseline for success is continued survival), but allow you to take credit for it.[emphasis added] Successful companies might have only about five minutes of actual leading in their stories, but they have hour after endless hour of leadering.
And that, unfortunately, could probably sum up the entirety of Mark Driscoll's public career in ministry at Mars Hill. Sure, formally he may have founded the corporation that came to be known alternately as Mars Hill Fellowship and Mars Hill Church, but so long as he didn't botch things up so badly the movement died the group dynamic could keep the momentum going.
Now, well, we'll get to see if any of the spin-off churches go the distance. It remains to be seen.