- Have all the answers. (instead of asking all the questions)
- Not connecting with the person behind the employee. (view employees as a means to an end)
- Slow decision making. (underutilizing intuition)
- Unclear vision and expectations. (blurry expectations lead to blurry results)
- Lack of personal integrity. (without integrity no will follow you, and if no is following you then you are not leading)
- Stop learning and changing. (feeling of having “arrived” and getting complacent)
- Undisciplined approach to hiring employees. (rely on gut feel only)
- Organizational indigestion. (pushing more initiatives into the team than it can digest creates diffused focus)
- Personal ego needs blur the needs of the team. (serving self vs. serving the team)
- Talk more than listen. (results in leadership blind spots).
You don’t know it all. There are limits to your knowledge, ability and energy. And while the competitive nature of our culture, which often sneaks into our lives for those in leadership, and would have us to hide all of our weaknesses in fear, there is tremendous power in becoming vulnerable with people.
This article was written for church leaders but it just as applicable to business leaders and leaders in general. Deciding to become vulnerable is risky. As church leaders (business leaders), there will be people in our congregations (businesses) that don’t want us to be human. They would prefer that we wear a halo and pretend we’re never tempted to sin in the same ways they are. They feel safer if we, as spiritual leaders, are immune to the crass realities of life.
But when we hide our weaknesses, three big problems arise:
1. Our weaknesses get worse, feeding off the shame and secrecy.
2. We become dishonest and hypocritical.
3. The truth inevitably comes out, and people are disillusioned as a result.
So is bearing our vulnerability worth the risk? Absolutely. Here are some important reasons vulnerability is a forgotten virtue of great leadership:
1. It’s emotionally healthy. Maintaining an image of perfection requires enormous amounts of emotional energy. One of the reasons we sometimes get so stressed-out and depressed is because we’re working so hard to stay behind the facade and keep everyone convinced that we’re strong.
If you are worried about your image, you are heading for burnout. Keeping people happy and impressing others is terribly exhausting, and it’s always temporary. Eventually, people get to know our weaknesses all at once.
Being real and vulnerable, on the other hand, is liberating. It’s freeing. In fact, it’s really the only way to live. James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.“ We need to confess our sins to God to be forgiven, but we also need to talk about our weaknesses with others to find healing.
In fact, some faults won’t budge until you confess them to others.
2. It’s spiritually empowering. James also says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b). It is impossible to lead in ministry without the grace of God. And how do you find the grace you need? You find it by humbling yourself before God and others.
Remember, pride prevents power.
3. It’s relationally attractive. Everybody is wearing a mask, and it’s what we expect others to do as well. When we choose to throw our masks away, we surprise people with our authenticity. Being real is the fastest way to endear yourself to others.
We tend to love people who area real, honest, humble and vulnerable, and we tend to despise people who are deceitful, arrogant and hypocritical. Paul told the Thessalonian believers, “So having great love toward you, we were willing to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you were dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8).
When you share your strengths, you create competition. But when you share your weaknesses, you create community. You let people know “We’re all in this together.”
Pastors are often incredibly lonely people. Why? I believe it’s in large part because they’re so afraid of the cost of being vulnerable.
4. It’s a mark of leadership. We only follow leaders we trust. The first requirement for effective leadership is credibility, and the more honest you are, the more credible you become.
Real leaders lead by example. They go first. If your desire is that the church, group or organisation you’re leading be a place where people are open, you must be the first to open up.
You must decide whether you want to impress people (which you can do from a distance) or influence people (which you can only do up close).
5. It increases the impact of your preaching/leading. The concept of preaching from our vulnerability is something I’ve written about before because it’s a really big idea. In the previous generation of great preachers, we usually asked what’s the most powerful way to preach this? Now, we should be asking what’s the most personal way to preach this?
You will always be more effective as a personal witness and a storyteller than as a skilled orator. As you preach and lead, try to answer these questions:
- What struggles and weaknesses should I share with others?
- What progress am I making that others could learn from?
- What am I currently learning, especially from my failures?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
1. Offering No Reward System Or Praise For Employees
Worthy employees follow orders and work hard every single day. Nothing will demotivate them more than when their good work is not recognized or rewarded. Leaders must recognize the effort employees put into their work and show appropriate appreciation. A reward system not only improves the morale and loyalty but also the performance and productivity of team members.
2. Punishing Employees On Good Performance
The biggest mistake any leader can make is using the guise of promotion or advancement to increase an employees work load without offering any financial compensation. This is not the right way to treat your most loyal and productive employees. As well, a good leader will address the longer hours or excess workload and help their employees manage it better
3. Lacking In Communication
Stay up-to-date with all the latest information and developments. Learn the skill of communication, and be the first to inform your team members regarding things that may help them improve and perform better.
4. Becoming Too Much Of A Friend
Employees desire to have leaders that they get along well with, but being too friendly may put a leader in an awkward position when it comes to taking tough decisions. Do not allow people to take advantage of how nice you are to them. Maintain a good balance between being their boss and their friend.
5. Not Embracing Change
Another mistake is to think that you can control how all things happen in the organization. Sometimes it is beyond anybody’s control to stop a change. A leader needs to go with the flow in such situations, and use the change to the company’s best advantage.
6. Making Hasty Decisions With Recruitment
When you need more manpower to handle a huge workload, it is still essential, you carefully manage staff selection. Better to employ temporary staff to cope with the immediate problem until you have assessed long term personnel requirements. It is costly to employ and train full time staff members. Will they be an asset to the company and a good fit with the existing team? Take the time needed to select a candidate that has the best qualifications for the position and right temperament for your organization.
7. Not Being Clear Regarding the Organization’s Goals
Job descriptions must be precise. Employees must know their job function and to whom they are responsible for their work output. They need to feel part of the team and know the company’s mission and goals. Regular work reviews are mandatory at which good work is commended but also unsatisfactory work addressed.
8. Copying Others Instead Of Being Original
Leaders need to be authentic. Don’t try to copy others. Sure adopt good techniques and strategies you have observed others use but adapt them to your unique business situation. Learn from others but find your unique voice.
“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” – Ralph Lauren.