Emotionally healthy leaders are leaders who have embraced their real self and are comfortable with who they are in Christ. They know they have weaknesses; they have made mistakes and are not perfect. They are honest with themselves, they don’t live in denial of who they are.
Do you have a person or persons in your life who can tell you the truth about what they are seeing in your life that has the potential to lead to failure as a leader, and ultimately destroy you as a person?
Having people who can tell you the truth is often difficult for leaders because of the power and influence which come with leadership. Those you lead may be seeing signs of failure. However, they may be afraid to say anything directly to you because of the power and influence you have over them.
One of the biggest and toughest challenges leaders have face is the challenge of leading multi-generational organizations. And that challenge is probably most difficult within the church. The primary reason for this is that the church is the only organization whose niche market includes everyone.
One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples before returning to heaven was for them to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Jesus did not discriminate in any way regarding who should or could be a disciple. This means everyone. Of course, this presents all kinds of challenges for church leaders, one of which is how to effectively lead a multi-generational church.
Written by guest blogger Rhonda Carrim
Recently our family visited the Waipoua Forest in the Northland of New Zealand. A must-see attraction in the forest is Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. Kauri, a type of conifer, are massive trees; only California’s Giant Sequoias are larger. Tāne Mahuta stands nearly 170 feet tall, with a trunk girth of more than 45 feet. Kauri also have longevity; Tāne Mahuta’s estimated age is between 1,200–2,000 years old.
A great challenge of leadership is the reality that we deal with broken human beings. The challenge is greater because as leaders, we ourselves are broken humans. But as broken human beings leading broken human beings, we are all trying to follow the Perfect One, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am afraid that too many of us forget this fact when we are responsible for the department or the entire organization. Suddenly we expect everyone to do their part perfectly; and if they don’t, we get frustrated and wonder why people can’t be relied upon to get things done in a timely manner and in the way we want them done.
In working with leaders, one of the challenges I see that often gets in their way is their limitations. Too many leaders, myself included, struggle with accepting our limitations. As a result, limitations end up inhibiting our personal development and progress within an organization.
When leaders do not see and accept their limitations (which we all have), they drive away or frustrate the people who are talented in those very areas; others know they can do better if given an opportunity. Perhaps you know how to read a spreadsheet, but you may not be talented in accounting. Just because you are the leader does not mean that the accounting system must be done exactly as you remember (or not) from your college accounting course – which may have been a decade (or more) ago!
As in any great endeavor, not knowing what is required for survival or success is likely to lead to failure.
We often hear about wilderness survival adventures where the skills of surviving in the wilds are needed in order to return alive.
The same is true for leaders: without knowing the survival skills of leadership, the outcomes of failure or mediocrity are most likely. And no one wants to be known as a failed or mediocre leader.
A question we are often asked here in Dargaville, New Zealand, is how our various experiences compare to what it would be like in the United States. People are often surprised at our response; we tell them that we are not really comparing it to our experience in the U.S., but just taking it for what it is.
The desire to compare is part of our DNA as humans.
As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the power that is now available to the believer because of the resurrection, here’s a question to consider: How is the resurrection of our Lord empowering your work as a leader?
I imagine most leaders would say that resurrection power is central to their leadership. But does their life and work as leader bear out this claim? If Christ’s resurrection power is at work in their ministry, why does their life and ministry provide little evidence of that reality?
Followers are not maturing in their walk with Jesus. Lives of defeat rather than victory appear to be the norm. Infighting, gossiping, envy and strife are evident. Too many people live only “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Tim.3:5, KJV).
During the past few weeks of jogging here in New Zealand, I have become known as the guy who jogs with the blue shirt, black shorts, black and blue shoes and yellow cap. Yes, I jog with a cap because the risk of sunburn here is very high compared to other parts of the world. I jog three different routes; the route I take on a given day is determined by the distance of my run.
While jogging, I occasionally stop and talk with someone. I usually say my name, but not often do I get a name from them. We will converse about life in our different countries, and then it will eventually come down to talking about the weather. Many farmers and people who grew up on farms in the area live so naturally, the weather is an important topic!
I began thinking about how I am known in the community by those who see me jogging daily. I then wondered, how do people remember us after they have encountered us?