There are times I'm a better leader than other times. Over the years, I've observed that many times there are things that simply weaken my leadership. When I allow these things to get in the way, I am less effective as a leader.
Sometimes this is my fault. Other times the cause is unavoidable.
If we can identify what interrupts the effectiveness of our leadership, we can become better leaders. One of my goals is to consistently find ways to guard against them.
Here are seven things which weaken your leadership:
1. Needless distractions. As leaders, we do our best work when we are pointing people toward worthy visions. Some would say this is precisely what leadership does. It's easy to get distracted with things which, while they may be good things, don't help move the organization toward the vision. In fact, they delay progress toward the vision.
I've also learned I need to be leading in my strengths. If I ever get weak in my courage to say no to some things, the quality of my yes will be far less valuable.
2. Personal lack of discipline. It matters not if there is a great vision if I don't discipline myself to help the team reach it. This includes making sure we have good plans and goals. We need good objectives and results, with the proper systems and strategies to accomplish them.
Granted, I don't have to do all of this—and I can't—but it is part of my role to see that this is happening.
3. Ceasing to learn something new. Leading others to grow requires leaders who are growing. When I stop creatively feeding my mind, I cease to have anything new to offer our team. And life (and our organizations/church) can become stale quickly. Whether through books, podcasts, conferences or other leaders, I must find ways to continue learning and stretching myself.
4. Allowing negative influences to rule. It's hard to be the only positive in a room full of negatives. Sometimes as a leader, I've felt like more cheerleader than coach. It's one reason I like to surround myself with people who have a good outlook on life. I don't want all "yes" people, but if everything is always an immediate "no"—or "I don't like it because it's not how we've always done things"—it is draining. Eventually it is only going to bring down the strength of my leadership and ultimately the rest of the team.
5. Living in fear. Risk is involved in every leadership decision—and I mean every. Leadership is taking people to an unknown. This always involves risk. Every time. And every risk involves a certain level of fear. This is completely natural.
Fear keeps leaders from moving forward when they allow the fear to dominate the decision more than the opportunity of the risk.
5. Personal pride. Pride goes before the fall. Pride destroys. I would offer that absolute pride destroys absolutely. Okay, I embellished this popular saying to further a point.
Prideful leaders are always weakened by their pride. No one truly follows a prideful leader. They may obey, may even be infatuated for a season, but they don't follow.
6. Complacency and contentment with status quo. Leadership involves a sense of urgency. When we lose this, we lose the inner drive to lead well. We become weakened by our own loss of personal momentum.
7. Resting on past (or current) success. All of us love to succeed. I think attempting to is a pretty good goal. We might even plan for it—what a novel idea. Sadly, though, sometimes a little success can usher in complacency. We can begin to think we've figured out a system to success.
Before long, we don't think we have to be intentional anymore—maybe not even have to try as hard as we used to try. We can become weak quickly by our own delusions of grandeur.
Those are a few things which weaken my leadership. I try to guard against them.
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For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
Ron Edmondson is a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also a church leadership consultant who is passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Prior to ministry, Ron had more than 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner. Follow Ron on Facebook, Twitter and his blog at ronedmondson.com.
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