10 Things in Leadership That Can Drive You Nuts

As a leader, many things can drive you crazy.
As a leader, many things can drive you crazy. (iStock photo )

There are some things in leadership I could honestly say I despise.

The ways people behave. The things they do. I should note—not the people involved in them, but the actions.

And I have probably been guilty of some of these also in my career. But I hate when I did them as well.

Perhaps you have your own list, but this is mine.

Here are 10 things that drive me crazy in leadership:

1. Responsibility without authority – If you ask someone to lead something—let them lead. Don't make them jump through hoops, constantly come back to you for approval or second-guess everything they do.

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2. Small-mindedness – I like big dreams and those who dream them. I've never once out-dreamed God. Neither have you.

3. Naysayers – There is always someone who says it can't be done, it hasn't been done this way before, or no one will support your idea. Listen to wisdom, even constructive criticism, but don't fall for the person who has never met a good idea in their life.

4. Laziness – Not only is it a sin, but if it is allowed to fester, it can be contagious or disruptive to an organization. I believe in protecting my Sabbath. I have learned and teach on the need to protect our soul—to rest—but work is work. And there is much work to be done.

5. Settling – Even if it involves conflict, I want to push for best over mediocre. Settling eventually means no one wins and everything stalls.

6. Popularity seeking – Leaders who say what they think people want to hear in order to be liked—it drives me nuts. (I'm not even sure these types are technically leaders.)

7. Power hunger – Leaders who are easily threatened by others or who always try to control others limit people and organizations.

8. Caution out of fear – Some leaders refuse to take risk. They take the safe route every time—especially when pressure rises against them. Personally, I prefer a bold faith every time.

9. Bully management – Some leaders get their way from force. They beat people into submission, are never satisfied or badger people to perform. This has always seemed like cowardly leadership to me. 

10. Passion squelchers – I've known leaders who never liked a new idea—unless it was theirs. They prefer to say no to people more than yes. It drives me crazy. Leaders should energize others to realize their dreams, not stifle them.

What are some things you despise in leadership?

Ron Edmondson is the lead pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.

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