Leadership… Really?

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I have a healthy obsession with leadership. I believe in it, and I am a leader, and I’m striving to be the best leader that I can be.

There’s always Leadership books, quotes, podcasts, blogs, quotes, etc. that are coming to the surface. The lastest and greatest 715 irrefutable, undeniable, infallible, laws of leadership… And I get all caught up in it, I’m not gonna lie. Check this one out:

A leader is never later than 5 minutes early

I love that one, although I can rarely keep to it (being late however is a pet peeve of mine).

Some of my blogging friends have been hitting on Leadership lately, and I thought I’d take a second to respond.

  1. Jenni Catron posted this, regarding the quote “everyone’s replaceable”, and it’s refreshing to see her point of view.
  2. I already blogged about this, but Brent had an excellent post on Leader Man Vs. Servant Leader.
  3. Vinnie has been talking about leadership here and here.
  4. And lastly, Tim Schraeder, wrote up some notes from Innovate08 here, with what I think are a ton of Steven Furtick quotes. It was the first one that hit me hard: The capacity of leadership will be found at our ability to endure pain.”

Now that last one doesn’t sound like fun…

I think I understand where Furtick is getting at. I remember Dr. Sam Chand saying something like leadership is the riskiest thing you’ll ever do, because you invest in people and sometimes they just up and leave your organization – then you have to start over. (Something like that). Yes, people are people, and they can & will let you down, and cause you pain. In fact, it’s also been said that “ministry would be easy if it just wasn’t for people”. The problem is is that ministry is FOR people!

So, I’m thinking, what is it that causes pain for leaders? It must be the feeling of betrayal, the hurt of losing someone or something that you’ve invested in, failing at a risk. What about finding out that you’ve been leading people in the wrong direction, and having to say “I was wrong”. What else? I’m really trying to learn something here… If a guy who leads an explosive, growing church says something like this – I want to know what he means.

Bear with me as I’m just trying to break this down mentally. Capacity = Volume. So we all want to lead more, to grow (for us church people – we want to see tons of people come to Christ and build the church). So we want to increase our capacity. But this will be painful, and our capacity will be a direct reflection of how much pain we can endure…

Hmmm. I’ve seen leaders endure pain. But honestly, I’ve seen that most of the time the issues that cause pain derive from themselves and their failures as a leader (myself included). So could that be it? I don’t know, help me out here…

3 thoughts on “Leadership… Really?

  1. Jenni Catron

    Alex, your post is so ironic…
    Here’s a quote I read this morning in Ruth Haley Barton’s book “Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership” (which I highly recommend):

    “the choice to lead something, to orient your life toward some vision or ideal and to lead in that direction, opens you up to a world of pain that you might not otherwise have to face.”

    I don’t really know why the pain is so prevalent in leadership, but I’m learning it’s part of the cost… “to whom much is given much is required”.

    Thanks for always challenging and inspiring in this area!

    Jenni Catrons last blog post..Sunday Highlights

  2. alex

    Jenni, very ironic. I just got off the phone with a worship leader who said I have a “healthy obsession” with leadership. And I was chatting with a friend of mine, Peter, who was poking fun at me cuz he says all I ever read are ‘christian leadership’ books… Why am I saying this – I don’t know.

    But. Your comment sheds more light on the subject. Leadership is a choice. And to lead is different than to be led, obviously. And there is a cost involved. And leading is risky.

    I think what I am struggling with is having a positive outlook on capacity growth – when you know (or assume) that it will include more pain… ouch. I’d like to lessen the pain and increase the capacity. Is that possible…

  3. Brenda Boston

    I like the quote, and the rest of the post. One of the recent quotes that has me thinking is, “if you are practicing Godly leadership, a certain percentage of people will disagree with you and oppose you”

    Is that where the pain comes in? Not sure, but it certainly exists.

    Brenda Bostons last blog post..Spring in Paraguay

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