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Leadership in Context Episode 23 Show Notes

Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci

Episode 023

Strong Personalities, part 2

My take on strong personalities: I would rather deal with wildfire than no fire. I would rather control a fire than have to rub two sticks together under someone. I see a lot of leadership wasting a lot of time motivating people who don’t want to get on fire and avoiding people who are on fire because they look like they may be too much work.

Reminder: Those with strong personalities also need to have strong character, morals, and commitment. We need to be clear with them on those issues; if they need to improve, they should know what they are working on.

How a senior leader handles strong personalities is one of the defining marks of their success. It is important that we don’t write people off who tend to speak a little more, speak a little louder, and have a lot of ideas (some good, some bad). We need to learn to embrace those ideas, filter them out, and empower those people to do something for God.

Example: You are in a discussion with someone who has a strong idea or a strong opinion about something (i.e., how to run the prayer meeting, how to pave the parking lot, how the media presentation is working on Sunday mornings).

  • Focus on the Idea, not the Person: When you are having these discussions, do you have the ability to keep it on one item at a time? Don’t shut down the idea by shifting to addressing character issues with the person. How does that work? If the guy has a really good idea about running the media, but when he was running a small group he kept dropping the ball, you respond with, “This is a really good idea and I’d like you to execute it. But here’s what needs to happen first. Before I trust you with something else, I need to see you pick up the ball on what you already agreed to do.” As you are talking to someone, ask yourself—"If this was coming from my most faithful, loyal, productive, my best person in the church, if I was hearing this same idea (or criticism) from them would I give it more thought?” That is a good check for yourself!

  • Avoid Suspicion: This is hard, but critical. Do not ascribe motive. First, clarify the idea or the criticism. Then, if you have a legitimate concern about their motivation, put that on the table. Remember, hints don’t work with strong people. “Here are my concerns…” Discuss it as redemptively as you can. Don’t make accusations. Don’t make statements; ask questions.

  • Fear: You cannot be led by the Spirit and be fearful. We have not been given a spirit of fear. Many times, I sense fear in leaders. Not concern. Not discernment. Fear. Fear of losing control. Fear of not knowing what the next thing to do is. Fear is not a teacher. Fear will not lead us into the purposes of God. If we are really loving the work, what God has called us to do, the people around us, then we should not be afraid. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” If there are legitimate issues that need to be dealt with, deal with them. But do not walk in a spirit of fear. It is unhealthy. Get alone with God and ask—"Why am I fearful of releasing things to people? Why am I fearful of giving people chances? Why am I fearful of taking risks?” You can’t be afraid of loss all the time. You have to be so saturated, so impassioned, so enthralled, so engaged as to what there is to gain. The most common denominator with millionaires is that they all have lost a million dollars. They aren’t afraid to lose something, because they think there are many potential gains out there—hundreds of ways to make a million dollars. They believe in risk and reward—run the risk to gain something, rather than sit on something. It is time for the leadership of our churches to be so impassioned about winning and gaining that we are willing to run some risks.

Do not run from strong personalities. Be one of those people that those strong personalities feel like they can vent to, talk to, give opinions to without you shutting them down.

Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!

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