Leadership Development

Bad Leaders Blame Others

Bad leaders blame others.

It’s sad, but true.

Many leaders out there tend to believe that if something has gone wrong (ie. – a failed ministry initiative, a wayward team member, a floundering layperson, a busted ministry experience, etc.) that it MUST be someone else’s fault.

And while “others” might have something to do with things not going “according to plan,” we cannot be the kind of leaders that fail to acknowledge, own and learn from our part in the failing entity.

I’ve heard a couple of stories recently of key leaders, within Christian institutions, who threw their team members under the proverbial bus — placing all blame for their current troubles within their context on everyone but themselves.

You can see the painful damage being done.

It’s like a train wreck happening right before our eyes.

And you know that the wounds will be deep when all is said and done… and you hope that the damage will not be irreversible.

But only time will tell.

Leadership —  REAL leadership — seems to be a rarity in our culture today.  And this sad reality is bleeding onto our campuses… and into our ministries.

Our students are seeing it… our students are experiencing it… and our students are learning to replicate it.

They can sense that it’s not right… but they’re not seeing another way of leadership being modeled.

This is where we MUST step in.

The ways we lead — our staff, our student leaders, ministry initiatives, within partnerships across campus and out in the global community — must be shaped by, and infused with, the faith we profess.

I’m talking about the kind of leadership that is defined by “we” and NOT the typical “us and them” mentality.

It’s the kind of leadership that is willing to take part ownership in the failures, not just the successes.

It’s the kind of leadership that is willing to highlight “others” for the great work they do.

It’s the kind of leadership that knows when to step up and take the lead, but is also confident enough to let others take on that role, when it seems both appropriate and most beneficial to accomplishing the overall objective of the team.

It’s a leadership that exhibits: humility, character, authenticity, integrity, appropriate influence, grace, co-ownership, love, connectedness and peace.

It’s a leadership that is modeled after the life and leadership of Jesus, and seeks to honor and glorify God in both ‘ends’ and ‘means’.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like leadership, at least not based on what we see exemplified in the world around us, but it does have a way of creating more space for God to work in our midst — both in us and through us — in such a way that TRUE leadership happens and God’s purposes (all that they might be) are ultimately accomplished.

We cannot be leaders who blame others.

Something has got to change.

May we be a part of this MUCH NEEDED change!