Leadership is one of my passion points. When you begin to look at the life of Jesus you see the perfect portrait of what a leader ought to be. However, we can learn a lot about what true leadership is NOT, by watching this whole Obamacare debacle unfold.
Ten observations of how not to be a good leader:
- Sell your followers on the idea of removing their personal responsibility and volition and assure them that Big Brother will take care of all their needs.
- Fudge about the details of whatever it is you’re trying to sell to your followers, and use manipulative lingo to secure their support.
- Make the decision before weighing the consequences, and then when the consequences of said decision surface, brush off the outrage by condescendingly informing your followers, “This is the law of the land, and just the way it is going to be.”
- When pressure and ridicule of your leadership comes from more persuasive sources, have a press conference and say, “I’m sorry that you were gullible and believed me. However, with the wave of my dictatorial wand, I will determine what the law of the land is.” Notice how in number 3, the followers had to just “deal with it;” but once there was enough pressure, magically the leader can change the whole law. Who knew that in a constitutional government a mere press conference could change the law of the land.
- Spend lots of money on a glitzy website that isn’t even a good paper weight.
- If you happen to oppose a certain leader, then lead out with a brave and courageous statement like, “This other leader needs to acknowledge that things aren’t working out the way they should. So, he should scrap everything, and start over.” Wait, start over? Why would we want him to start over with a plan to force his followers to do something they may not need, want or require?
- Make sure that the bad decisions you make for your organization have some loopholes to ensure that your buddies get a break from the consequences, but everyone else will just have to deal with it.
- Do what a cult leader would do: force yourself, as a leader, into the private, everyday affairs and decisions of your followers. As long as you can control your followers, they’ll be sure to support you . . . or else!
- Whether you were one that made the decision, supported the decision or didn’t support the decision, the focus should obviously (and well, looky here, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek) on the symptoms of the illness rather than on curing the disease of leadership overreach. Rather than bickering about whether we should drive the car over the cliff at 75mph or 143mph, why don’t we apply the brakes of common sense!
- Think of your citizens as followers, naves, peasants, and hicks rather than as citizens. Oh, and never admit that you were wrong; save your own skin at all cost.
Now, I realize that, as I once heard someone say, I am to the left of King Arthur; however, there are problems with the leadership of our country. Red, blue, purple, yellow, black and white, it seems our leaders are rarely right. A true leader is selfless, thoughtful about those he is called to lead and how his decisions will affect them, their families and their livelihoods. A true leader leads by believing the Gospel, and living out the Gospel in his day to day life; setting an example of Christ-likeness. Virtue is catching, and inspiring and will secure the respect of not just your admirers, but also your enemies (1 Peter 2:12). Manipulation, on the other hand, will secure the votes of the people until some better manipulator comes along. Thus, rather than justifying yourself as a leader and pretending yourself superior and above, you must not lord your leadership over the flock you are called to tend (1 Peter 5:1-3 & Matthew 20:25-26). This principle applies to husbands, parents, pastors, elders, deacons, business owners, presidents, and kings. So, here are ten heavenly principles of leadership to contrast:
- Recognize that if you want submission from your followers, you must showcase and demonstrate what true submission is (Heb. 13:3, Jam. 4:7, 1 Pet. 2:13-17, 1 Pet. 5:5).
- Be willing to place your needs last, and spend your life, time, energy and fortune helping others thrive (Luke 22:26).
- If a job has to be done, be willing to be the one to do it, even if scrubbing a toilet is the job needing done (Isa. 6:8, Heb. 12:2, Luke 14:10-11).
- Don’t pass the buck to others; defend the honor of those whom you are leading. Thus, even if a problem arises that wasn’t your fault, you are willing to take the blame and save their skin before you even think about saving yours (Mat. 7:3-5, James 5:16).
- Be the first in the charge and last in retreat, laughing the loudest while doing it (1 Sam 17:48).
- Do not complain or argue (Phi. 2:14).
- Do not demand or expect from others what you yourself aren’t doing or are unwilling to do (1 Cor. 9:27, Eph. 6:4).
- Do not play favorites, and give unequal treatment based on your preferences. Just weights are the Lord’s delight after all (Pro. 11:1).
- Let your word be your bond. Never compromise the truth for the sake of personal advantage or prestige (Mat. 5:37, Jam. 5:12).
- He who would be the greatest, must become the servant of all (Mat. 23:11).
Finally, CS Lewis is spot on when he tells us: “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”