No one wants to be a wimpy leader. I’ve never met a person that says, “Man, I hope I am a spineless leader who can’t stand up to anyone and has zero vision for the future.”
But I have met many of the opposite kinds of leaders, you know the type: The bulldozer-leader who runs people over with their vision, step on people with their pride and pummel people with the overly-confident wit. No one likes to be under these leaders for long. Their courage is contagious at first taste, but the bitter backwash soon bits.
In a great book I read recently, “Mistakes Leaders Make,” the author points out seven signs that you might be a controlling leader:
1. People start apologizing prior to approaching with a new idea.
2. You don’t really know how people feel about you, but you assume they all approve of your leadership.
3. You assume you are always right.
4. You enjoy keeping others with less information than you have.
5. You think you should be involved in making all the decisions.
6. You fear others being in control of a project.
7. You are the final word on every decision.
If these describe you – or even a few of them describe you – it may be time to revamp your leadership style. God calls us to steward people well by allowing them to flourish, not be extinguished or exasperated. Jesus modeled a type of servant leadership that was strong but empowering. He gave a high challenge to those He led while maintaining an inviting demeanor.
David Kraft said it best when he wrote, “To empower people means learning how to lead people without controlling them.”