by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

It could be assumed that a guy who writes a leadership blog has never made any leadership mistakes. And that assumption would be wrong. I am a student of leadership by learning from others, as well as from my own mistakes. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Jumping to a conclusion before waiting for all the information.
  • Not following my gut until it was way too late and I had a big problem on my hands.
  • Skipping the ‘meeting before the meeting’ to help rally the stakeholders.
  • Spent too much time trying to convince people of a direction, and losing the window of opportunity to move forward.
  • Letting other concerns divert my focus from my ministry.
  • Letting ministry become my mistress for a season.
  • Firing too slowly, convincing myself attitudes will improve or capacity and competence will increase.
  • Hiring too quickly. This happens when I’m desperate for a solution and so settle for any person rather than the right person.
  • Allowing misalignment to go unaddressed, or assuming it will get better on its own.
  • Releasing someone for misalignment before giving them an opportunity to improve.
  • Not speaking truth to power when I might have been the only person who could.
  • Speaking truth to power at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
  • Putting progress or projects in front of people.

I hope you can tell by this list two things: First, I’m not a perfect leader. In 27 years of leading as an adult, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. If you are afraid of making mistakes, you should not be a leader. If you fear the day you have to stand in front of others and tell them you were wrong, you should pump gas or sell Cutco. Innate within leadership is the probability that you will make mistakes.

Secondly, leadership is not an exact science. If you do the same thing twice—it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation. Leadership requires prayer, discernment, collaboration, intuition, research, experience, confidence, self-control and the guts to take risks.

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