Saturday, January 25, 2014

Leadership: I Feel Better

I just read a series of blogs on leadership problems, and I have to admit, I feel better.

Maybe it’s self delusion; I hope not.  But the list of signs of controlling leadership styles did not fit me at all.  That’s not to say I am not of strong opinion or will – I am.  It is to say that disagreement and conflict do not rock my world – they don’t.  And apparently, that’s a good thing.

Then there was the post on burn out.  As I checked through the list, at first fearing the worst, I was gladdened to see that none of them fit me.  Do I get tired of it all?  Sometimes.  Has it made me into a secret-hoarding withdrawn paranoid monster?  Not so far.

Then there was the post on the weak leader.  That one scared me the most.  Effective leadership is such an amorphous thing that it seems virtually impossible to measure unless one relies upon the world’s standards of success: increased numbers, financial vitality, etc., and that is not the story in the church I pastor.

Is it me? is a common question I ponder.  The corollary: is it them? walks alongside.  Then I remember the words of a usually-quiet parishioner one day: We’ve been through this before.  People come and go.  More will come along. (with a shrug): Well, they always have before.

Her unspoken counsel to patience was a wake-up call for me.  Sometimes, it might be me.  I might actually be the problem.  Or ‘they’ might be.  But just as often, there might not be a problem at all.  The people who are here may simply be the people who need to be here.  It might not be about fault at all.

So, at least according to one blog guy, weak leaders are the ones who are indecisive, cave in because of conflict, pass blame, pretend to be in control, and avoid difficult choices.

Definitely not me.

In all this back patting, I may simply have missed the list that applies to my own particular foibles.

But for today, I’m taking on the affirmation of negation: because I am not these things, I feel better, mostly because I feared I might be.  It’s hard to know sometimes, so those silly check lists can come in handy.

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