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March 2018


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The column "Leadership Whiteboard" provides a short visual leadership coaching moment. It introduces and explains a new sketch in each issue, provides leadership coaching for further development, and shares a leadership quote and recommended book.


The Painful Side of Leadership

Loneliness, hurt, and disappointment are not usually considered synonyms of leadership. Because leadership is different from managing, leaders swim upstream, and their leadership is often misunderstood. Making difficult decisions, leading people who have different (even conflicting) ideas, communicating strategy, and moving people to see what should be rather than what is can create a pervasive feeling of isolation.

Leaders wrestle with far more information regarding their decisions than others not sitting in their seats. Many play Monday morning quarterback regarding pastoral sermons, direction, and announcements of new vision. Few followers attempt to understand the what and why behind the pastor's leadership decision.

Let’s examine a few ways to mitigate the pain of leading a complex ministry and diverse groups of people. Stay in the Word and saturate decisions with prayer. Ask what is right then what is best for the whole. Remove personal bias and seek what is right over being right. Value the long-term more than immediacy in solutions. Take a courageous stand, even when others don’t see it yet.

After communicating, explaining, and over-communicating, expect people not to hear or read the details of your messaging. Understand that, even when communicating well, people still assign motives, hear false information, or believe inaccurate direction. Expect criticism and do not lash back.

Leading requires a tough skin but a compassionate heart. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. Expect pain but maintain health, both for yourself and others.

About the Columnist:Ron Hunter Jr., Ph.D., is CEO of Randall House Publications.


©2018 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists