Healthy Leaders


The Tale of Two Championships

Jim BrennemanJim Brenneman

So now the big time basketball championship is history for another year and the man who is argued to be one of the greatest players of history was on the losing side. How well this illustrates the need to avoid the Superstar Leadership Strategy!

When all of the focus is on the anointed “king,” then the bench is powerless, the coach is powerless, the other starters are powerless. . . Everything depends on the superstar.

There is also great damage to the poor star. Now he is “no good” or “not as good as Jordan” because he couldn’t achieve the ultimate success of winning the requisite number of championships. The focus of his legacy is only what he has done himself, and not at all on what has been built around him.

And he is now strapped with the burden of self-doubt, blaming himself for every turn-over, for every setback, for not being good enough. He can never ever have an off night. He must have a record performance every time he steps on the floor. Any loss by the team is because the star failed.

Developing the game-plan around one great player makes it easy for the opposing team too! Stop him and you will defeat the team. The opposing team will not be adequately defended since the superstar is counted on to score a whole bunch of the points.

There are no expectations for the rest of the team when there is too much reliance on Mr. Wonderful. No one else is seriously thinking they will be called upon to make a big play or a key shot. No one is thinking about defense since the big man will be coming through with a deluge of “Threes” and flushes. He will also make all of his foul shots. No one is looking for shot opportunities, and no one is seriously looking for a pass from the star. Everyone has one plan – pass it off to the play-maker.

Likewise, if a superstar leader is made to be the “go-to-guy” in all the affairs of our organization or church here is what happens:

Meanwhile, another team won a championship on the ice. The team leader scored only one goal in the entire finals series – a lone score for insurance after the game-winner by a defenseman. And that defensive player, who had scored only ten goals in the season, was named the MVP for the championship. It was a team win and it sure made the coach look good!

Avoid the Superstar Leadership Strategy, and let God use everyone. It is all about Him and His Kingdom!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant . . . (Philippians 2:3-6)

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you . . . . Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:3, 10).

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