So let’s resume our blog series after a brief break (this is a marathon after all).
It’s the 2% that will kill you.
This one’s huge friends. Not cultivating a community of accountability and support is a great short cut to getting into serious moral trouble, losing your family, failing the people you lead or simply not being able to handle it anymore and quitting.
We’ve all heard that leadership is lonely, but by nature it’s true. It doesn’t have to be true. It’s just where you end up when you haven’t cultivated community.
The real reason I think many of us in charge of something end up isolated and alone is because we fail to understand this principle: everyone we lead has a dual relationship with us. What I mean by that is simple: no matter who we (in leadership) feel we are (hey I’m just a guy like you, let’s just be friends), to them we are also their leader, pastor, or boss. We have the power to hire and fire them and the responsibility of leading them. That ‘power’ imbalance, even as strongly as we fight it and resist it (I have fought it every step of the way), is real and it’s always there. Until we stop being their boss or leader that is.
But what that means is that our leadership hat never comes off. As great a relationship we have with our staff and leaders, we’re still always their boss or their leader. And that changes the nature of the relationship. I am very transparent and quite gut level honest and free with our staff and wider community. 98% of the time I can share with them what’s going on without much filtering at all.
It’s the 2% that’s the problem. It’s the 2% that can kill great leadership, ruin staff dynamics and sabotage. That 2% needs to be processed, prayed over and dealt with by someone. And many leaders have no one to share that 2% with.
Your spouse can be awesome, but there are certain things you maybe can’t best process with a spouse. It also breaks down when the 2% you can’t process with anyone involves your spouse. Then where do you go?
Over the last decade, I’ve been able to cultivate a relationship with some friends and leaders who are not part of my community – people I love, admire trust and respect. Ironically, man of them live hundres or thousands of miles away. In different seasons, I’ve seen counselors as well who have been instrumental in helping me process life, leadership and ministry.
Who are you tracking with? Not for the 98%, but for the 2% that can sink many leaders? What have you found to be most effective?