Five Lies That Limit Our Leadership (Show Notes)
One of the biggest barriers when it comes to leadership are the lies leaders can sometimes believe - I’m not talking about the lies other people may tell us (although that is a big deal) - I’m talking about the lies that we tell ourselves as leaders.
This is primarily a spiritual battle, Bible says in John 8:44 that satan is the father of lies, and Paul tells us in II Corinthians 10:5 that we MUST take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. The more we buy into the lies of the enemy the more limited we are in our leadership.
Lie #1 - “I Can’t”
(In the show a debate broke out as to whether or not Carleigh could dunk a basketball - I can assure you that the odds are greater that the devil will become a Christian than Carleigh dunking a basketball!)
Often times as leaders we are faced with enormous challenges - that’s part of being a leader—we are the ones who get to see the challenges first!
And the easiest thing to do is look at a problem and say, “I can’t do anything about that.”
And it’s a lie that limits leaders.
Let’s take a basketball illustration - if you are holding the ball but you can’t dunk it then it’s your job to put the ball in the hands of someone who can. Without you they don’t get the ball - without them you can’t score points. It makes total sense when we consider the Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 - Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Another example is, let’s say, when a job requires a person learn a bit about technology - not something like how to build a website, but to maybe learn how to do automated responses when you are going to be out of the office - and they say, “I can’t do that” and then comes the excuse, “I’m not good at technology.”
Often times “I can’t” actually means, “I won’t,” for example - let’s say a leader has a difficult decision to make as far as programming or personal - a tough decision has to be made, a tough conversation has to be had with an employee—perhaps they even need to be released - but the leader says, “I can’t.” Actually, you can because you are the leader, but often times you won’t because you just don’t want to be the bad guy.
MOST OF THE TIME the leader knows the difficult decision that needs to be made. They are smart, they are the leader for goodness sake - it’s just they lack the courage to pull the trigger.
Lie #2 = “They Won’t” (“They” = the people you are leading)
Often times we as leaders do not articulate ideas because of fear of what others may think or say. And fear is NEVER a good source of motivation as Proverbs 29:25 says, Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Lie #3 - “We Will Never Be Able To…"
The biggest issue with this lie is it causes a church or an organization to get stuck - and actually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you tell yourself you will never be able to do a certain thing - then eventually you talk yourself out of trying, or even telling others about it - which severely limits your leadership.
Leaders should STOP apologizing for big vision!! Especially church leaders - we let the world outdrew us - and I think it’s an insult to God that Disney and Apple can dream bigger than the church. As I heard it said one time: Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Lie #4 = “We Are Screwed”
One of the biggest realities in leadership is that we make mistakes! If a leader is not making mistakes then they are simply not trying - failure is a part of the journey!
However, the problem occurs when we allow failure to define us!
Failure is a circumstance - NOT A PERSON! You are not a failure because you failed!!
The best way to handle failure is evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!! I used to hear the phrase “experience is the best teacher” all the time. It didn’t quite resonate with me until I heard someone say not too long ago, “Experience is NOT the best teacher, EVALUATED experience is the best teacher.”
Lie #5 = “Later"
This is the thing leaders say most often when we know we aren’t going to do something - but we don’t want to actually say “no!”
It’s the thing that helps us feel better temporarily…things such as…
“Later” is the lie that limits our potential - because as long as we are saying “later” we don’t have to take action now!
The other thing “later” does is limits our ability to lead - because, as leaders if we are telling the people we are leading we will do something “later” but we never get around to it - then at some point it becomes an issue of integrity, and so once we say it enough our people will begin to believe that “later” is a lie - and that we actually do not intend to do anything about the issue.
Review Of All Five Lies:
A mentor once told me, “The greatest form of deception is self-deception,” and he is so right. For most of us - if we spoke to our friends the way we speak to ourselves we would have no friends. This is especially true of leaders - we MUST learn how to distinguish the lies of the enemy with the Truth of God’s Word - and doing so takes time and discipline.
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