Leading With A Limp

March 28, 2013

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“We should bless men and women who have done their level best to escape leadership but who have been compelled to return and put their hands on the tiller. We should expect anyone who remains in a formal leadership context to experience repeated bouts of flight, doubt, surrender, and return. Here is one reason: the reluctant leader is not easily seduced by power, pride, or ambition.”

“God loves reluctant leaders and, even better, he loves reluctant leaders who know they are frightened, confused, and broken.”

The preceding quotes come from Dan Allender’s Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness.

I have found myself attempting to share similar ideas. I’ve always said a leader who is eager for position and power, does not really comprehend what leadership is all about. That person has a glorified, false perception of the job and the price it carries.

They may even be a bit narcissistic! (Allender offers a fantastic portion on this which I highlighted in a previous post.)

The perception of leadership is so often exalted in our cultures. However, “a good leader will, in time, disappoint everyone. It requires a willingness not to be liked, or even hated.”

How many of us would sign up with this as the job description?

The Bible shows Jesus as surrounding himself with a group of ordinary people. They would not be the superstars we would have chosen.

Scripture often takes modern society and values and flips them upside down. In God’s kingdom, weakness is a strength, dependence is advised, and community becomes of great value.

I am a huge proponent of leadership studies. Confidence and decisiveness are fantastic traits we can incorporate in our styles. But Allender shows, we must balance it out with a healthy dose of reality and acknowledgement of need. It keeps us humble. Some of the words Allender uses to define a leader are: broken, foolish, reluctant, hungry, and disillusioned.

While not the full picture of leadership, this book is a breath of fresh air in a sea of self focused books.

To read more about being a reluctant leader, please take a look at Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness. It is a refreshing and candid.

 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God