good leaders don’t waste time coddling the feelings of their subordinates to the detriment of the goals and vision of the organization.
good leaders must step up and do what’s best for the team. football coaches put their best players on the field and run demanding practices and push their teams to rise to their potential. and they don’t worry about hurting feelings along the way. they expect the players to be man enough to deal with it.
military leaders certainly care about the morale and confidence of the troops under their charge. but make no mistake. their goal is to raise a tough-minded, tough-skinned, tough-bodied, and tough-hearted infantry who will sell out for the cause, no matter the cost.
CEO’s and boards of directors of corporations are given the responsibility to be protectors of the bottom line…to move forward, to secure profit, to achieve goals, to garner market share, and to grow the company. people must be managed well, but one person is never placed above the good of the whole.
i am certain that coaches and generals and presidents and directors and leaders of all kinds, can be both compassionate and understanding…and sensitive to the needs and situations of their flock. i’m sure many are. some of the best leaders i know are people who have learned to combine a sensitive heart with hard-nosed, single-minded focus for the advancement of the organization.
but if they spend too much time being concerned about the feelings and personal struggles of the people they lead, they probably won’t last long in the leadership saddle.
the bad news? we have bought this line of leadership strategy in the church. nothing is more important than the vision. nothing is more important than the growth of the organization. and what we need, more than anything else, are strong, visionary leaders who can navigate through the opposition and lead their churches to the promise land.
i’m not buying. i never have. i don’t see any reason to start spending now.
what kind of leaders do we need in the church? shepherd leaders. servant leaders. compassionate leaders. leaders who are not on pedestals. leaders who go overboard to connect with the needs and hurts of those in their charge. leaders who listen patiently and relentlessly pursue the way of love. leaders that won’t rest until relationship breakdowns are reconciled.
i find it interesting that the word “leader” is used just four times in the new testament. here are the two primary ones:
Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. Matthew 23:10
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them…but it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. Luke 22: 24-26
although we can learn some good leadership lessons, principles, and techniques from the lives and experiences of some of society’s greatest leaders, we cannot afford to be deceived.
the depth and breadth and content and style and direction and example of leadership in the church, comes only from jesus. if he wouldn’t do it, neither should you. if he did it, why are you choosing to do something different?