Simply put, Dr. Thom Rainer’s blog/podcast is intensely practical and is always encouraging to me as a husband, dad, and pastor. Here’s another good word on lessons he’s learned the hard way.
Original post can be viewed here.
I am not a great leader.
In fact, there are times I’ve wondered if I am even a good leader.
I have positional leadership, but that does not mean I am truly a leader.
There are several reasons for this rather negative self-assessment, but the essence of my own evaluation comes from my failure to learn quickly and adjust. It’s one thing to make a mistake as a leader; we all do. But it’s another to make a mistake and not learn from it immediately. That reality describes me way too often.
My transparency is not one of false humility. I am sharing these five lessons with the hopes and prayers it will help others. These are lessons I’ve learned the hard way because I have too often failed to adjust even when I’ve known I need to do so.
- I sometimes am unprepared to lead on a given day because I have not been in the Word. Think for a moment of the absurdity of my disobedience. I have the opportunity to be in God’s Word, to hear directly from Him, and I fail to do so. I cannot imagine a more blatant act of poor leadership than this one.
- I have almost given up right before my greatest victories as a leader. I know. At least I didn’t give up. At least I got to realize God’s victories for me. But it begs the question: How many times have I really given up and, thus, failed to see His way to victory? How many times have I been a quitter instead of a leader?
- I have made more mistakes by moving too slowly than moving too quickly. I knew I needed to make that personnel move. I knew it was best for the organization and, ultimately, the person involved. Wise counselors around me told me so as well. But I hesitated. I knew that delay would not solve anything. To the contrary, it would only exacerbate the problem. So I led from a posture of fear instead of faith. The problem ultimately was so much worse than it needed to be.
- I have followed others dreams instead of my own. I’ve had a number of well-intended friends who “knew” what was best for my life. And though I really knew differently, I went their way instead of God’s way for my life. Every time, though I knew better, my decision ended up being a bad decision. There’s nothing wrong with seeking counsel. But it’s totally wrong to go down a path that is not your own.
- I have failed at humility. I really thought I was this great guy who had the answers. Sometimes I thought I was the smartest person in the room. Too often I have shown my rear end (figuratively please) rather than show my heart. I am not God’s gift of leadership to the world. Unfortunately, I have sometimes acted like I am.
Again, my purpose in this post is neither self-deprecation nor false humility. The purpose is to provide a clear and urgent warning for others lest they go down the forsaken path I should have never traveled.