Leadership Challenge

I think I can relate to this…

In his book The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell (McGraw-Hill), Oren Harari quotes former Secretary of State Colin Powell as saying, “Being responsible sometimes means ticking people off.”

Well, okay, I cleaned that quote up a little for this article, but the point remains the same: Sometimes when you’re a responsible leader, people will not like what you’re doing. Sometimes people will get quite angry. Unfortunately, in a church leadership setting, many times this means that people will get so angry that they’ll leave your church.

Powell goes on to say: “Making people mad was part of being a leader. As I had learned long ago…an individual’s hurt feelings run a distant second to the good of the service.”

Harari summarizes: “Leadership can’t be a popularity contest. Trying not to offend anyone, or trying to get everyone to like you, will set you on the road to mediocrity. Why? Because leaders who are afraid to make people angry are likely to waver and procrastinate when it comes time to make tough choices. Leaders who care more about being liked than about being effective are unlikely to confront the people who need confronting…

They won’t challenge the status quo. And inevitably, by not challenging tradition, they hurt both their own credibility and their organization’s performance.”

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