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Leadership Traps: #6

So, with all that’s been going on, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about leadership traps.  So, it’s time to wade back into that with a quick recap of where we’ve been…and then into #6.

#10: Blaming Others for Your Failures.  Poor leaders rarely take responsibility for their own failures.
#9:   Wanting to Be Big.  Ambition isn’t always godly.
#8:   Not Wanting to Be Big or Good.  Laziness or indifference are not next to godliness.
#7    Believing the Next Best Thing Will Turn it Around. The future will not turn a terrible present around all by itself.

So…without further ado, here it is:

#6:  Treating People As Though They Were Tasks
Sometimes as leaders, we can get so consumed by the mission, the task or the project, that people can end up being a means to an end.  I know this is my default, and I’ve hard to so guard against it.  It’s a sign that God doesn’t really have all of my heart, because God’s heart actually is for people.

Those of you who are task driven probably winced when you saw this one.  After all, we struggle with people who don’t give it their "all" or for whatever reason, can’t or won’t deliver in a way that’s helpful.  And, if this traps you, it drives you nuts that in ministry, too many people use "niceness" as an excuse for incompetence, laziness or lack of focus.  After all, Jesus came in highly focused on a mission and let nothing — I mean nothing — distract him from it.  So sometimes that makes us feel justified.

But the truth is, Jesus did an awesome job balancing task with people.  People were, after all, the point of his mission and the point of ours.  So the way I’m working around my flawed personality defect on this one is to :

  • Realize I have this bent, and consciously try to compensate for it.
  • Realize that mostly its a question of getting people in the right position.  Everybody fits somewhere…you just need to find their sweet spot and let them roll.
  • Take time every day to value the people I’m with as well as the task we’re working on.
  • Remind myself that the people I’ve valued most in my life valued me as a person before they valued what I brought to a team.

The ironic thing is that when you get people running in the same direction, you get an incredible group running together on an incredible mission.

What’s your experience with this trap, both on the "trap" and the "success" side?

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