Healthy leadership never happens is isolation. In fact, by definition leadership involves others. We only lead as others respond and follow us. However, there is a tendency for many of us to isolate ourselves. Sometimes it’s subtle as we withdraw from others we should be spending time with. Other times it’s more overt as we become stubborn, defensive and unteachable. We can never lead separated from people and from reality around us.
Today my guest blogger is Eric Geiger. He works with LifeWay and gave me permission to share this blog. He writes, “An isolated leader is a dangerous leader.” How do you know if you are isolated leader? Here are five indications that we may be suffering from unhealthy isolation:
- If you are never confronted you are really in isolation. You have only surrounded yourself with people who are afraid of you or are in awe of you and thus you are never challenged on your blind spots or sin. And we all have blind spots and sin. A life without confrontation is a life without growth. To live without ever being challenged is to live recklessly towards destruction.
- If you are never uncomfortable you are really in isolation. Christian community is community that is built on Christ and not lesser commonalities. Thus Christian community pulls in people who are different than one another and are united by His grace. Those differences will cause discomfort, and the discomfort will cause growth.
- If you never hear the word “No,” you are really in isolation. No one should only and always hear “yes,” because no one is perfect. If you have built a life for yourself where you only hear affirmations and only hear “yes,” you have chosen shallow community. And you are surrounded with people who will passively watch you self-destruct one day.
- If you don’t give yourself to your team, you are really in isolation. Leadership is an incredible privilege and an incredible responsibility. If you aren’t encouraging, serving, forgiving, and praying for others, you are an isolated leader.
- If you never weep for others, you are really in isolation. Great leaders love the people they lead. And as the pain of this world plagues those on their team, they weep. They weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. If you never weep, you are going through the motions of leadership and really living in isolation.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Have you ever heard of “confirmation bias?” This is when we accept the ideas and people who agree with us and ignore the rest. It is so easy to justify our position while minimizing the opinions of others. It’s only as we engage with others around that we can see reality more clearly and lead more effectively.
What about you? Are you leading in isolation? How are you bringing others into your life and leadership?
This summer’s Leadership Summit can be a huge boost to your leadership. If you’re a leader in the Pacific Conference, contact our office to register. (firstname.lastname@example.org)