Three Things A Leader Shouldn’t Do
As a leader, here are three things you shouldn’t do:
(1) You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. (See Isaiah 43:19). When you put someone into a new role, they will make mistakes; it’s inevitable, but it’s how they learn. Being a leader means handing over the responsibility, even though you know there is a risk of them failing, and letting them walk out into the unknown. Like a parent who prays harder when their teen takes the family boat or car out for their first solo drive, you must accept that the challenges which frighten you are actually liberating to others.
(2) You shouldn’t confuse individual loyalty with team building (see 1 Corinthians 3:9). It’s good to work closely with key individuals, but it’s also important to stay ‘connected to each other.’ (Romans 12:5 GWT) You must make sure that everybody gets to be on the team, feels valued, and learns how to interact with one another.
(3) You shouldn’t try to micro-manage people. (See 2 Corinthians 7:16 GWT). There is a difference between managing people and leading them. Managing people requires an eye for detail, whereas leading them involves vision sharing, goal setting, and motivating. And you must know the difference. When you micro-manage rather than lead, people’s morale goes down, because they need clear objectives and the freedom to figure out how to reach them. Don’t micro-manage; it diminishes [reduces] the sense of ownership those under you and around you need for good team dynamics and problem-solving.
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard used to joke that he encountered a lot of people who would say to him, ‘I can’t stand you, but at least I know what you stand for’. In his opinion, that was the single most important feature in a leader.