A leader should always have an agenda, but it should never be hidden.
I’ve been shocked over the years to discover the distrust people have of their leaders, even those in ministry. We know that’s true in general, but it rarely dawns on an individual leader that their people, or even their own families don’t always trust them. Most leaders believe we’re men or women of integrity and therefore, we don’t have to be concerned about that problem. We do! So, why is it that we often distrust leaders?
1. Almost everyone has had someone in authority over them, who has hurt, embarrassed or betrayed them.
My father had a good friend – a very successful Christian businessman, who I discovered was gossiping about my father behind his back. I once had a teacher who everyone knew gave good grades to his pet students and lesser grades to students who challenged his ideas.
Perhaps you had a controlling parent, a critical spouse, or coach who humiliated you in front of others. So, have the people who work for you. They will often unconsciously project their experience on to you. I’ve repeated this maxim often: No one was raised in a Petrie dish – we all have emotional baggage. We’ve all experienced hurt by others because of sin and as a result, we’ve become wary of the motives and agendas of others.
2. Most of us know that we, ourselves have been deceitful in the past and therefore, we are wary of that sin in others. (more…)
I’m occasionally asked if there are any fairly simple leadership principles that always work. “Work for whom?” is the question I often respond with. Here’s what I mean by that.
The common misconception of leaders is that their task is to get others to do what they, the leader, wants. The goal of the true Christian leader, if at all possible, is to inspire others to creatively work toward a solution that they, the group, believes is best.
It’s my experience that once a group truly believes in an idea; they will work in harmony to pull it off. But, if they don’t, some will give it only a half-hearted effort, and a few will actually hope it fails. This is true of a family as well as a ministry, a committee or corporation.
So, the following are a few of the best practices of good leaders I’ve observed to inspire others to think outside the box. (more…)
Perception is truth to those who believe it.
I’ve previously defined a worldview as, the sum total of everything you believe to be true, whether it is or not.
When you’re a leader, some people you lead will not share your worldview. I’m not talking about whether they are Christians or not, or whether they share the same philosophy or politics. On the most elemental level, everyone believes certain facts to be true, that you do not. And, unless you understand exactly what their truth is, you can’t begin to solving problems or change in an organization. (more…)
Many leaders make the mistake of trying to introduce a big vision before they’ve done the hard work of winning the confidence of those they lead.
This blog won’t make much sense unless you’ve read my Monday blog first of, November 18. And, one of the best ways I know how to instill confidence is by identifying and solving the problems that most trouble those they lead and prevent them from doing their jobs well.
I once made this observation to the leader of a large company. “When you’re sitting on top of the mountain, you can make the mistake of thinking all is well in the village below.” This isn’t just true of big corporations; it’s true of churches, organizations and even families. Do you know, and do you care what most stresses your employees, volunteers in ministry or even your spouse and children? What questions or fears can you help them address, or at very least, show empathy for? It’s not all about you. In a Christian worldview it’s all about God and others.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Phil 2:3 (more…)