3 Actions you must take to lead under insecure leaders

deal-with-your-insecurities.jpg

Leading under an insecure leader is just plain difficult. It’s difficult because you often times don’t know where the land mines are. You end up leading carefully and timidly. The irony of leading under an insecure leader is that it can produce in you the very thing you see in them. Leading up is never easy and in the case of an insecure leader it can be nearly impossible.

Another reason insecure leaders are challenging to work for because everything takes twice as long because you have to clarify, explain and garner their support before anything can move forward. It can, quite frankly, be exhausting.

5 signs you might be an insecure leader

1392233256-forget-confidence-try-being-little-insecure-instead

Leadership is not easy. The reality is that every person leads at some level. The question is not are you a leader as much as how well are you leading. Growing up in the church I saw one insecure leader after another. I never saw them as insecure leaders until I started to work at Redeemer 18 years ago. I began serving Mike Servello Sr. as his kids Pastor and currently serve his son Mike Servello Jr. as his campus pastor. Mike and his father are by far the most secure leaders I have ever met. It was only through their confident yet humble Christ centered leadership that came to see those other leader and even myself at times as an insecure leader. One of the things that amazes me most about the church is the epidemic proportions in which insecurity runs through church leadership. One of the most valuable things I have learned in my nearly two decades working with Mike and his father is the importance of security in leadership, if you want to lead for the long haul your security better be found in Christ. Insecure leaders create drama, havoc and pain in the lives of those they lead. If you lead I as that you ask yourself the following questions, as I wrote these I found them convicting, and humbling.

How do you know that you are an insecure leader?

1. You surround yourself with people you can control. - Insecure leaders hinder their organization because they don’t look to hire or attract the best people for a job. They look to attract people who are not as good as they are. People with less experience, who can be controlled mentally or emotionally.

The one surprising reason you should go to a conference

Stewardship. Leaders should attend training conferences because we are not just volunteers or leaders we are stewards. When you realize that you are a steward of the time and influence God has given you it changes how you use your time. It’s not your own. I love how the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism draws this point out so vividly. It says What is our only comfort in life and death? The answer is “That we are not our own but belong body and soul to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. When we realize that we are not owners but stewards it changes events like these from have to, to want to.

If you are not growing. If you are not pushing yourself spiritually or academically then you are being a poor steward. The trap that is so easy to fall into I have many times is thinking that your ministry is yours. You do what you do for the glory of God. You occupy until He returns. You are a steward of the gifts, talents and abilities you have been given. You do not possess talent you are a steward of the gifts God has entrusted to you.

So go to conferences, read books, go back to school, have lunch with someone who is a mentor to you. Steward the gift don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you are owed something because you own it.

Effective Leaders Make Decisions

decisions

A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between right and wrong. It is at best a choice between “almost right” and “probably wrong”—but much more often a choice between two courses of action neither of which is provably more nearly right than the other.
Peter Drucker

One of the things I never anticipated as a Bible College student and as a young 21 year old entering the ministry was the enormous amount of decisions I would have to make. Small decisions based on what type of paper to use for a craft, to large ones such as how to advise people facing a crisis.

The problem with most decisions is what Peter touches on in this first quote from his book “The Effective Executive”. 

Most decisions you will have to make in life are not clear. They are not right vs. wrong they are not good vs. bad. They are usually between almost right and probably right. In leading others you need experience, intuition and trust. Experience and intuition combine to help you get things almost right most of the time. Trust in your team and ultimately in Christ will help you make good decisions most of the time.

Executives are not paid for doing things they like to do. They are paid for getting the right things done—most of all in their specific task, the making of effective decisions.
Peter Drucker

Leading is easy deciding is hard. Everyone wants to be a leader and to some extent everyone is a leader.

What makes you effective in whatever environment you lead in is how effectively do you make decisions. Effective leaders not only make effective decisions but they train others to do the same. Decision making that is shared is always more effective than decision processes that are exclusive and ideas that are horde.

It becomes clear that a decision requires courage as much as it requires judgment. There is no inherent reason why medicines should taste horrible—but effective ones usually do. Similarly, there is no inherent reason why decisions should be distasteful—but most effective ones are.

Peter Drucker

If you lead long enough you will find yourself making lots of difficult decisions. I am not a type A personality so making hard decisions are not fun for me. I have had to make my fair share of difficult decisions over the past few years and many of them of been positive some don’t seem to be as positive. I thought I would share a few different keys to making good decision in hard situations.

1. Know the bible. The bible is full of wisdom for you, but more than that, it is a lens to see the world. When you understand your bible many things that seem hard from the outside are made clear by submitting your life to the Word of God.

2. Pray often – Prayer is us exchanging our weakness for his strength. You want strength to make good decisions? Pray. Exchange your lack for his sufficiency.

3. Listen to those closet to you. They care about you enough to speak the truth.

4. Listen to those who gain nothing from your relationship with them they are often the most honest. Don’t dismiss people because they are “strange” or are on the cultural fringes. They have nothing to gain or lose by speaking out so they often do so with much more honesty and clarity than we give them credit for.

5. Give the credit take the blame. No matter how a decision turns out. Always take the blame and give the credit to others.

No matter how many decisions you have made that have not turned out well. Learn from those mistakes embrace them and keep going keep deciding keep glorifying God in all things.

The New Needs Friends

ego1.jpg

In the book Creativity Inc, By Ed Catmull at one point he talked about the importance of protecting the new. He then quoted the amazing monologue delivered by Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to
our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and
to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the
grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more
meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times
when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and
defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new
creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something
new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say
that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about
fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s
famous motto: ‘Anyone can cook.’ But I realize, only now do I truly
understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a
great artist can come from anywhere. – Anton Ego

I have always been an innovative person who learns through iteration, trial and error. I find however as I grow older that I more easily stick to what I know because I know it works. The beauty of age is experience. The danger of age is becoming critical of the new. I meet many people who talk more about what they have done than what they are doing. 

Being a critic is much less costly than being an artist. Left to ourselves we slip into the criticism of the new rather than become a friend of the new.