To be a good leader it seems difficult, but this world needs more good leaders. We learn so much from our good leaders, but, you should not neglect the opportunity to learn from the bad ones.
This episode is dedicated to bad leaders. For your service, we thank you!
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I know what you’re thinking, what do bad leaders have to do with church. Well for some church is their first encounter with leadership. Not all church leaders, are good leaders. The intent of this episode is not to be messy, I’ll mention no names, but I want to encourage you to learn from your interactions with bad leaders. Not all my interactions with bad leaders have been in church. But, we all don’t lead in church. And if we claim to be followers of a great leader, we should aspire to be great leaders. So, in this episode, I will share some lesson’s I’ve learned from bad leaders.
If you know me you know. If who don’t yet, you’re about to find out! But I am petty! This episode is dedicated to the bad leaders I’ve encountered in church and in my career. In creating the graphic for this episode I thought about putting pictures of some of my recent bad leaders on the graphic for this episode. The funny thing is that most of them would gladly pose for the picture because it would seem so preposterous to them that they are bad leaders. It must be a joke! Some of them would not understand even if they were told. They would pose for my picture.
I have spent a lot of time observing great leaders but, I feel like I’ve encountered far more than my fair share of bad leaders. Maybe my early interaction with good ones has soured my view. But I’ve learned valuable lessons from the bad ones. But instead of complaining, we can learn from these situations. From the bad leaders in my life, I’ve seen what not to do. Today, I’d like to share lessons from those bad leaders for you to know what not to do. So here is what I’ve learned.
It’s not about you
So many after graduating from college, making it successfully through interviews, and who knows what, are gassed up. Some people may enter some leadership situations thinking that you know everything. I know that I have. I got humbled quick! But not everyone accepts that humbling. Some people continue to think more highly of themselves than they should, not valuing their teams. The first lesson I’d like to share from my bad leaders is, Your intelligence means nothing! Don’t be gassed up, the organization does not need you. As a leader, you are not required to do things. You doing stuff means nothing. A leader is measured by what can be accomplished through others. It is not about you! It’s about the team. Too many leaders are selfish, thinking about ourselves, thinking of everything we think we know or we think we can bring. Don’t be selfish it’s not about what you can do as a leader it’s about what you can lead others to accomplish.
I don’t know who said it first, but this is my podcast so I’m gonna claim it. “Criticism is the breakfast of champions.” Be humble enough to receive criticism from others. Accept Criticism! Maybe you don’t want to receive everyone’s opinion, create a circle of people who will tell you the truth. You have spinach in your teeth.
People want to give you feedback. Allow for that feedback. If you do not, people are gonna talk anyway. A team that cannot talk to you will talk about you. And really would you call that a functional team? Allow for that dialogue, show people you are a team. Admitting to your team that you are not perfect and you are willing to hear their opinions will go a long way.
Has anyone worked with a leader who was quick to throw their people under the bus? If something is not done satisfactorily they will say, oh yeah so and so did this, I didn’t do that. I don’t know who said this quote either, but someone once told me, “You can delegate tasks, but you cannot delegate responsibility.” In other words, if you’re a leader, and someone follows your direction and does something wrong, You did it. A leader should not throw people under the bus, if anyone is gonna be hit by the bus, it’s gonna be a good leader. Good leader take responsibility. If you delegate responsibility for a task, and people are not happy with it. Do not allow people to down talk to your leaders. Take the feedback and use it to improve your team. Protect your leaders, and allow for them to grow. Do not throw them under busses.
To be honest, I’ve shared my three lessons, but really, it’s just one, kinda. Listen. Listen and don’t be selfish. It’s not about you. As a leader, your responsibility is not to accomplish tasks. It is to grow the team. If you’ve accomplished tasks, but the team is falling apart, you’ve failed. You’re a bad leader. Yeah, you. Have the guts to ask for feedback, and listen.
Is it just me that encounters leaders that cannot seem to do this? I need for you to step on this petty bandwagon with me. On this blank canvas, I need for you to envision the bad leaders you’ve encountered. Think about what you’ve learned from them. How can these bad leaders shape you into who you should be?
If you are struggling under a bad, or mediocre leader, don’t complain, learn. Look at their actions and see what it is that they are doing, or not doing to impede their progress? Can you tell them, to help them grow? Do you see those character traits in yourself? What can you do to prevent the same problems when you are given the opportunity to lead. What can you do to support, and improve that leader? Pray, prepare and have their back. Look at my graphic and I’ve got 3 steps. In your mind, be petty with me.
1. On that black canvas place your bad leaders there and think about what made them bad. 2. Now that they are on the canvas ask yourself how can I, or could I have helped. On the photoshop canvas in your mind get a clear picture of all the mediocre and bad leaders you’ve encountered. To be honest, the only thing that stopped me from doing this the graphic in real life, as I didn’t have time. You’ve thought of all the things that made them not stand out as a leader, now apply it to yourself how can you be better. Let these lessons shape you. Step 3. Pray for them, and pray that when it’s your opportunity to lead, there is someone praying for you.
I need your feedback. I am looking forward to hearing your lessons, go to holderministries.com. I’ll include the transcript on that site, please subscribe and leave a comment. Tell me about your bad leaders, please no names. Help me to fight my inner petty.
Speaking of fighting, I’d like to share one last thought.
Exodus14: 14 “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
That verse is a great encouragement to me when I’m in trouble, just the thought that God will step in for me in my situations. But I continued reading, and the next verse was funny to me, I’m going to translate it into Daniel version, you can read whatever version you like.
In Exodus 14:15 God continues and says “What are you still talking to me for? MOVE IT!”
Sometimes, I’ve found it’s not enough to know that God is going to intervene in our situations, we have to keep moving at the same time. I’ve found that sometimes God doesn’t throw doors wide open, they’re just unlocked. We have to jiggle the knob.
In other words, sometimes, you have to move to walk in
Thanks for listening. Looking forward to your bad leader lessons on holderministries.com, or on Instagram @holderministry.