I grew up in a different era, and my models of leadership operated differently than many strong leaders do today. In addition, I can get self-centered and self-focused. If I were serving as a senior pastor today, here are some leadership tendencies I would need to change – and thus I’m working on them today:
- Raising up leaders to keep them with me, not send them out. It’s tough to let people go after you’ve invested in them – but I need to be willing to do so.
- Assuming my staff can read my mind. I know better, but I sometimes get frustrated at them for not doing what I never told them to do in the first place.
- Acting as if nobody can do it better than I can. That attitude costs me time and energy, as I continually check up on others and work to clean up anything I don’t like.
- Getting so focused on tasks that I forget about people. I’m task driven, and my roles require me to do a lot – but I at times roll over people in the process. That’s poor leadership.
- Ignoring the importance of casting vision. Because I tend to be detail-oriented, I forget that others want to serve toward accomplishing a vision. I need to keep that dream in front of people I’m leading.
- Waiting too long to confront. I’m glad I’m patient, but I wonder if I sometimes extend grace too long.
- Refusing to say “no.” I desperately need to work on this one. In fact, I need the help of God and others in this arena.
- Letting failure and worry consume me. This one drives me crazy. I’m still learning how to trust God with my failures and mistakes.
- Not reading enough books outside my primary interests. I know what I love to read, but I also know some areas where I probably need to read more.
- Falling back on my age for excusing irrelevance. The older I get, the easier it is for me to say, “You know, I’m just older. I don’t understand that stuff (like technology).” The problem is that I’m leading people who do understand that stuff.
Pause and Reflect
What tendencies do you want to change? Pick one of these tendencies that is challenging to you, and give yourself three or four new ideas about how to address it. Discuss it with a mentor or trusted peer.
This article originally appeared here.