3 lines a leader can't cross
As I observe leaders, I'm always astounded in what I learn and hear about leaders who have crossed the proverbial line, whether it is ethically, morally, or just down right wrong. I'll admit our world has seen its share of abuses of power from a leader to a person in a subordinate position. But as a Christian leader we are to be a step above this kind of behavior. Let me share 3 lines a leader can't cross.
1.Compromise in Character: The Apostle Paul tells Timothy "Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. (I Timothy 4:15-16). The command to pay close attention to your life is the thrust of this post. Many leaders can abuse their leadership thus can compromise their character. Pastoral Leaders need to be especially careful in this realm because the enemy would love to scandalize a pastor where he has lost credibility as an effective Gospel Witness. It shouldn't take much imagination on our part to know what a compromise in character would be. Maybe it is an inappropriate relationship with someone who isn't your spouse. Maybe you have a gossiping problem, and the conversations you have can't be done in confidence. Perhaps you have unethical business practices, or are accustomed to back door deals. We should strive to pay attention to our lives, so we can be pure examples before God and man.
2. Receiving credit for someone else's work: All of us like to be noticed for the things we have done, there is nothing entirely wrong with that. The trouble comes when we take the credit for successes that aren't necessarily ours. A leader must learn to share the glory with those who have done the heavy lifting. As a leader we should get our joys recognizing that your fruit grows on other people's trees. If you are a successful leader it should make you feel good when you see a team member do well. It isn't the place for you to be jealous of something that was under their watch. When a leader crosses that line with a team member, trust is broken and the value of that team member is diminished.
3. Micromanaging to the point of diminishing morale: Admittedly I have addressed micromanaging before and have said that maybe what is perceived as micromanaging is that the leader is having to use more of his influence with that person because trust isn't yet established. I stand by that statement. But in this point I'm referring to a leader that has to have his or her thumb on the situation in such a way that those under the leader begin to lose their value and self worth in the organization. Perhaps it is a fine line but it is still a line that doesn't need to be crossed. Leadership is a position of responsibility not of power. As leaders our duty is to develop leaders by giving them latitude to succeed and fail. If we only micromanage, we never fully develop leaders or new talent; we have only made minions to carry out our commands.
Leader, pay close attention to your life and how you lead and live. The next generation of leaders depends on it.