Hopefully, as a leader you are teaching those you lead many great things. Hopefully, they are growing closer to Jesus through your discipleship and your example of an authentic Christian walk. Hopefully, they are learning good leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
As we all know, the majority of what we teach is not necessarily said out loud. More is “caught than is taught”.
I am confident that all of your best leadership qualities are leaking down to your followers and they are better because of your influence. However, a quote from Jenni Catron’s book, Clout, caused me pause today.
“That’s the problem with life as a leader – none of my issues impact just me. Every issue that we wrestle with as leaders impacts those we influence….If I’m not purposeful to sort out the good and the bad, I will pass on the good and the bad to those I lead.”
Because I have to be honest with you. As much as I feel I have grown in leadership over 15+ years in ministry, I know that there is a whole lot of “bad” mixed in with the good. I don’t know that I have been very intentional about sorting out the bad from the good I want to pass onto others.
What are some examples of “bad” leadership characteristics that we could pass on?
- If I complain and grumble about volunteers who don’t show up when they are supposed to, guess what the level of leadership under me will do?
- If I keep my ministry silo’d, or intentionally separated, from other ministries of the church, what am I modeling?
- If I am too busy on a Sunday morning preforming tasks and not connecting with people, that is what I am teaching my leaders to do.
- If I make excuses when I mess something up, I can’t expect those I lead to own their mistakes.
I’m sure you can think of examples that fit your context.
None of us are perfect. Until Jesus takes us to Heaven we will have plenty of bad mixed in with our good. The challenge for us as leaders is to make sure we are truly modeling the leadership we want to be emulated.
- Don’t be afraid to recognize weakness. Confess it to God and seek His help. Every. Day.
- Tell your leaders, “I really stink at this aspect, but we will all be better if we _____” and help each other be better.
- Don’t ever be blind enough or stupid enough to feel you’ve got it all together.
- When you see something in one of your leaders that you don’t love, pause long enough to examine if that is something you accidentally taught them to do.