Henry and Rochard Blackaby have been outstanding spokesmen for leadership and the Chrisitan faith for many years. Many have benefitted from Henry’s work on Experiencing God. That was a foundational workbook for my wife and I when we were “young” seminarians.
I have had the privilege of meeting and working with Richard Blackaby while I served with Cru in Western Europe. He addressed one of our emerging leader forums for Western European leaders during an intensive in Latvia. He is a humble servant leader who taught our participants well.
Several years ago they combined their efforts to write Spiritual Leadership, a landmark work for God’s servants. They revised and expanded this volume in 2011–and it is as relevant today as ever.
One chapter that a friend and colleague brought to my attention again was a chapter on “The Leader’s Pitfalls.”
I reviewed the first 5 pitfalls in a previous post. Here are the second 5 for your consideration. Pay careful attention to the application.
The Pitfall of Oversensitivity
“People who cannot handle criticism need not apply for leadership positions. Being criticized, second-guessed, and having one’s motives questioned are unpleasant but inevitable aspects of leadership.”
“True leaders are more interested in doing the right thing than they are in their popularity.”
“True spiritual leaders fear God far more than they fear people.”
The Pitfall of Spiritual Lethargy
“Spiritual leaders are not haphazard people. They are intentional. Just as they plan thoroughly for important meetings in their work, they also plan carefully to allow substantial time for listening to their Creator.”
The Pitfall of Dometic Neglect
“Wise leaders strive to preserve their families in the midst of the pressures on their professional lives.”
“Conscientious leaders take their God-given responsibilities for their families seriously.”
“God is the family’s greatest advocate –leaders who seek God’s help will readily receive it.”
The Pitfall of Administrative Carelessness
“Ultimately it is the leader’s task to ensure that the organization is healthy.”
“Leaders must become adept in two areas, or their organizations will collapse within: conflict resolution and communication.”
“effective leaders are known for their aggressive problem solving.”
“Leaders need to develop the reputation for dealing with important issues promptly and thoroughly.”
The Pitfall of Prolonged Position Holding
“Wise leaders know when the time has come to exit graciously and allow a new leader to step in.”
“Leaders with integrity recognize when they have made their most worthwhile contributions. They graciously hand over the reigns of leadership to the next generation.”
“Older leaders tend to have difficulty giving their blessing to the emerging generation of leaders.”
First, developing a healthy awareness of the pitfalls is the first step to avoiding them.
Second, putting safeguards in place will provide protection in times of indecision or temptation.
Third, leaders should have before them the continual reminder that:
- their organization is more about people than it is productivity
- they are not indispensable
- the most effective, efficient thing they can do for their organization is to maintain a close, vibrant relationship with God