3 Ways to Respond to a Controlling Leader

One,Two or Three list written on a blackboard

I have written a good deal recently about controlling leadership. As most of my posts do, this stems from current or past experience in leadership. Within the past 6 months I have talked with close to a dozen individuals in ministry who are experiencing this type of leader. It is effecting their personal leadership, as well as the health of their organization.

If you missed any of these posts you can read:

7 Warning Signs You May Be a Controlling Leader

3 Results of Controlling Leadership

7 Reactions to Controlling Leadership

The obvious most frequent question I receive as a result of these posts involves what to do about a controlling leader? I previously wrote a post about “leading up” called 5 Ways to Influence those Who Lead You, but it addresses a leader who may not be giving you a seat at the table, but not one who is necessarily a controlling leader. Controlling leadership appears to be a more difficult issue. A leader who attempts to control everything within his or her realm is much harder to influence.

So, here’s my best answer. Here are three ways to respond to a controlling leader: […] Continue Reading…

3 Team-Killing Church Cultures by Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird

growing team

Folks often preach the value of teams and try to instill teams in their churches, all the while cheerleading and propagating organizational cultural dynamics that squelch any possibility for those teams to thrive. If you want to improve your team (especially your leadership team), don’t ignore these three cultures […] Continue Reading…

7 Warning Signs You May Be a Controlling Leader


I’m seeing and hearing more about controlling leadership lately. I regularly talk to young leaders through my blog and many of them feel they are working for one. The odd thing, however, is that many controlling leaders never really know they are one.

I’ve written about this form of leadership in previous posts:

10 Reasons Not to Call Yourself an Empowering Leader

Leading People Versus Controlling People

Are you still wondering if you might be one?

Here are 7 warning signs that you may be a controlling leader: […] Continue Reading…

3 Results of Controlling Leadership

controlling leader

One of my pet peeves in leadership is the controlling leader. I recently wrote some warning signs that indicate a leader may be one. You can read that post HERE. I’ve written about this subject before, but I keep seeing the type. Controlling leaders are in every type of organization, including in the church. I was recently saw a controlling leader

The main reason I’m so opposed to controlling leaders is that it is counter-productive to healthy organizations…and I love healthy organizations.

In fact, here are 3 results I see in teams and organizations with a controlling leader: […] Continue Reading…

Every Relationship Needs More Grace – A Sermon

happy couple 2

Every relationship could use more grace.

In this message, I share some practical ways to share grace in building oneness in the relationships of our life.

Here’s a summary:

1. Realize the grace you’ve received.
2. Practice daily forgiveness.
3. Filter everything through love.

Love Helps – Grace from […] Continue Reading…

Lessons Learned from Walking on Hot Coals

Walk On Fire

People say Christians are crazy, but I would like to submit another group of people for consideration: fire walkers.

I’d recently gone on a 37,000-mile prayer pilgrimage around the world, a modern re-working of the ancient tradition. I experienced a world of prayer traditions across the Judeo-Christian faith family, […] Continue Reading…

7 Intangible, Seemingly Unproductive Actions Valuable in Leadership

Thinking man

Much of what a leader does can seem unproductive at times.

For someone wired for production — progress — checklist completion — even wasted.

I’ll admit, even though I know this in my leadership knowledge, I have to discipline myself to practice them sometimes.

Yet, every good leader I know specializes in […] Continue Reading…

7 Things the Church Can’t Do for the Pastor

give me strength

Pastor, there are some things your church can’t do for you.

They simply can’t.

Please understand. I love the church. Greatly. I’m a local church guy. But, they simply can’t do these things for you.

And, if you think they can, or you leave it up to them to do these things, […] Continue Reading…

10 Reasons to Consider Church Revitalization — Even Over Church Planting

Bellfry of old Russian church against blue sky

I meet with young church planters frequently. I hope that continues. We had great experiences in two successful church plants and it’s certainly in my heart. Currently we are working to plant churches in Chicago. I love the energy of planting. We need lots of new churches.

In this […] Continue Reading…