The Toughest Thing About Leadership Is…
People are following! Whether they should be or not, whether you are actually leading or not, people are following. With all of the leadership teaching on the planet, you would think we would have come further than we have. Leaders have this awesome responsibility and privilege to inspire, to advocate for integrity, for justice, to create a fair playing field, to cast a vision for hope and actually lead there.
But all too often our leaders, our school principals, our pastors, our executive directors and presidents, have taken the stance that they have arrived. That they paid their dues, that they suffered, and now you must suffer. They haven’t learned from the experiences they have had, they attend conferences and hear, “you are the man” or “exercise your authority”, even though what was said was “be a humble servant”, “bring out the best in your people”, “care for them”.
Unfortunately what I see over and over is a wake of followers who are uninspired and often bitter, because they see the hypocrisy. They know the heart, or lack thereof, behind their leader. Jesus Christ said that “wisdom will be proved right by her actions”. Interesting.
The tough thing is next steps. What if your leader is letting you down, big time. What should you do? For starters…leave. Find another job, find another church. Harsh, maybe, easy, no. But as a follower, it is the only thing of integrity you can do. Don’t fight, don’t criticize, follow someone worth following, or lead something yourself, but be warned….this blog is for you should you take that route. Don’t let history repeat itself.
If by some chance you are a leader reading this, and you are failing, repent to all and change your ways, it’s not too late.
The reality is this, many are terrible followers, not because they should be leaders, but because they are proud, arrogant people who don’t want to admit that anyone does or should have rule over them. Many are terrible leaders, becuse they don’t want to admit they don’t care about anyone but themselves, and they are intellectually overmatched and have been since they landed at the top.
Those that are offended by either of those statments are most likely guilty of one of the charges. To the rest who have gone into some version of self-assessment, I wish you well…at least you are humble enough to think you could be either!