Common Leadership Pitfalls!
- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 03/27/2008
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
Leaders are bombarded by many decisions. It is easy to make the wrong ones. The wrong decision can have far reaching ramifications. That is why it is so important to make the right moves. There are some commonly made mistakes that occur because of the lack of the following sure, fire principles from the Bible!
"He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame." (Proverbs 18:13)
So often we respond to a situation or make the wrong move because we don't hear the whole situation. We don't gather all the facts. We don't end up seeing the whole picture or we just hear one side of the story and jump to hasty conclusions. This can be a real blow. This leads to the next principle. We know we are jumping to hasty conclusions when we don't head the following:
"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding
but delights in airing his own opinions." (Proverbs 18:2)
Another pitfall is the we react to the situation before trying to understand it. It is important to respond with a cool, level head and not speak our mind in the heat of the moment in an outburst of anger or other fleshly patterns that get the better of us. So often we want to fly off the handle, explode, vent our frustration at the wrong time. When the team sees this, they end up jumping ship, reacting in the flesh as well or feel discouraged. Sometimes the work just needs to get done and there can be little or no time for airing our opinions. The appropriate time for that is during the post production meeting or when the goal has been accomplished and leaders sit back, reflect, unwind and think of how things could have been more productive. When the work cannot wait for tomorrow, we must keep a level head and put emotions aside to stay on top of things. This is key! This kind of self control will come with practice and experience.
Another pitfall is when zeal is not guided properly:
"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." (Proverbs 19:2)
So often, we like to dive off the board and hit the water without seeing how deep it is! Than we realize that a dive wasn't appropriate but it can be to late when we are injured and down. Zeal should never get in the way of knowledge. Knowledge should always guide and direct zeal. Zeal alone can get the team pumped but in the wrong course of action or in the wrong way! Have you ever followed a zealous person who took no time to assess the situation or consider the cost? It can be dangerous. A shrewd follower will look past the zeal and try to see the wisdom behind it. They will not be easily swayed by emotion or catch the vision until they know the leader is being genuinely wise and obedient to the call!
However, they will be so encouraged when they see that the right measures have been taken into consideration and especially when the zeal of the leader is translated into tangible actions. I love seeing leaders so passionate and driven by a vision that they are willing to do even the most menial tasks to get things ahead. It could be taking out the trash, vacuuming the rug, cleaning the toilet, washing the dishes. Remember the example of Jesus. He would even wash people's feet!
"After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." (John 13:5)
His zeal translated into humility and service to others to advance his vision and message. And you know what? Some, actually got it!
"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." (Matthew 12:3)
God bless the servant leaders out there. There are to many proud leaders who would think it is below their dignity to do something like this. Jesus was not one of them!