A Strong Word Every Leader Must Learn

This is a strong word every leader must learn. Sadly, many of us learn it the hard way. We try to please everyone. We live for the approval of others. Only to find out that…

It’s often not that some people don’t like your leadership…or don’t like you as a leader…

The strong word to learn is:

Sometimes people don’t like their life.

Your leadership simply gets blamed by default.

It’s a hard lesson, but learning it keeps you from feeling defeated when unhealthy people do unhealthy things and blame it on your leadership. They’ve been injured by others and now they blame everyone around them. You are in the leading position, so you are often the recipient of the greatest blame.

Learning when this is the case will make you a better leader.

You can’t lead people effectively who are unhealthy personally, either emotionally or spiritually. That’s why much of leadership is helping people get better so the team can get better so your leadership can get better.

Have you ever tried to lead people who were unhealthy and took it out on others?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “A Strong Word Every Leader Must Learn

  1. "You can’t lead people effectively who are unhealthy personally, either emotionally or spiritually."

    I am the unhealthy person… If you can't lead someone who's unhealthy where are they supposed to go to for help? Some people don't have the inner strength most pastors possess and getting over things doesn't come so natural or spiritual. I guess my question is… why not give hope to those who don't like their life…I don't like mine and I'm trying to make choices that change that… not all of us are blaming leadership, but desperately need that leadership.

    • That's why I said part of a leader's job is helping people get better so the team and organization can get better. A leader has to make hard determinations whether or not, if someone gets better they are a fit for the team and if they can get better. If so, then finding ways to help that person get healthy becomes a huge objective for the leader.Some of the most loyal, faithful, best people on my teams have been those who were once unhealthy.

  2. Ron, you put words to something I've felt time an again. As a pastor who moonlights as a politician (councilman), there are just some people who are cantankerous and miserable about everything it seems. I'm not talking about disagreements on issues, but as you put it, those who don't like their life. This is a liberating truth I will pass on but an opportunity to share the Hope that is in us too. Thanks!

  3. Yes, That´s right. thank you so much, Ron. Always helpful. I´m just living this on these past weeks. You don´t know how much God is using you to help many of us in the ministry. Our prayers and gratitude to you, form Monterrey, Mexico.

  4. I have to say that I've been on all three sides of this. I've worked for "unhealthy" leadership and I've been the "unhealthy" leader and I've been the healthy leader who got blamed for everyone's issues.

    For me, the turning point was realizing that everyone is someone's problem person, myself included. If you happen to be in leadership at that time it gets more complicated but the basic rule applies.

    Using this bit of wisdom I can ask myself where I'm at on the continuum. Am I creating a problem for someone else? Am I exposing an unwelcome opportunity for growth for another person? Am I the problem?

    When we can get over ourselves to the point that we realize that no matter how spiritual, how close in relationship we get with God, how learned or how gentle, meek, mild, bold, sassy, powerful or exhausted we get we will always have the potential to be someone's problem person. When we get there we can forgive others and ourselves and move into real leadership. Leadership by "failing forward" making mistakes until the right things happen.

    It takes a BIG load off of your shoulders and reduces the expectations you unwittingly place on others. In a sense it removes the power of "position" or rank from the equation and we can all have a chuckle at our common human frailties and shortcomings for a moment.

    Thanks for the great article :-)

  5. Needed this today Ron, thank you. Got a couple of really ugly emails this week from former member you laid into myself and my wife and about everything we have ever done wrong and treated them. It drained my bucket, but you've just filled it back up again!

    • Then admit it and get help immediately. All leaders find themselves there at times. Great leaders, ones who survive, recognize it and address it.

  6. Ron, Great word that was short, to the point and right. Most leaders deal with situations just like you described and then feel like a failure because everyone doesn't like them. In the church world it makes it harder because other people blame you as well when one person is unhappy. I have dealt with these kinds of situations and afte twenty-seven years of pastoral leadership I'm still learning. Thanks for the reminder. As you can see I put a link to this post on my web site.
    Jeff Scurlock <a href="http://www.jeffscurlock.com” target=”_blank”>www.jeffscurlock.com

  7. Absolutely. Asyou know, a pastor can feel a dual responsibility to effectively lead toward a vision and help people heal from their experiences. It's harder to just pass someone over because their issues hurt others or slow down the ship. I think the key here is getting a commitment from someone to allow you to help them before committing to invest in them and empower them as a leader. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time at the expense of others and the vision.