Leading Yourself

"Everyone I've seen fail as a leader did not fail in leading others; they failed in leading themselves." - Bill George

I've got a list on the inside of one of my Bibles of all the pastors I know personally who have fallen from leadership because of hidden sin, along with a quote from Howard Hendrics: "This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book."

I'm a fairly young pastor, so the list is only five or six names today - which is five or six names too long.

The guys I know who have fallen in their leadership are (for the most part) good guys who absolutely love the Lord, and love doing ministry. They're usually good fathers and good husbands with a significantly large blind spot. They weren't seeking hidden sin (whether sexual sin, or otherwise), they just passively fell into it.

The list in my Bible would be significantly longer if I included people who were not in full-time ministry - leadership falls are not exclusively a ministry problem.

From my limited experience, Bill George is absolutely right. You can't passively fall into sin if you're actively avoiding it.

What happens is this: great leaders recognize that leadership is about service (Mark 9:35), and service is about others. So we spend all our energy investing in serving others that we neglect the leadership of ourselves, and allow stuff to chip away at our foundation until everything collapses underneath us.

Great leaders understand that they have to lead themselves before they can lead anyone else. They flip the corporate structure upside down and begin with themselves and the people closest to them. Only then should they look for margin to lead others.


Graham said...

I know a guy that keeps leading himself in circles.