Recently, Pastor John MacArthur said a leader’s life should match the teaching and that is integrity. MacArthur spoke about what he perceived as President Trump’s narcissism and failure related to that. Watching the former President Donald Trump’s exit from the White House prompted some “profound-HD” lessons in leadership that MacArthur wanted to share.
On Wednesday, Grace Community Church held The State of the Church address that took the place of their postponed annual Shepherds’ Conference. Pastor John MacArthur and OnePassion Ministries‘ President Steve Lawson took on the speaking duties for the one-day livestream event. The Shepherd’s Conference posted this message on social media “While we had to postpone the Shepherds’ Conference, we recognize the need to encourage the global church and its shepherds.”
MacArthur said the lessons he was about to share had nothing to do with Trump’s politics, economic viewpoints, or the former President’s success in getting things accomplished. MacArthur said there were “some stark realities” as Trump’s presidency came to a close “as I watched him exit essentially by himself.” With little support that even his Vice President Mike Pence demonstrated during Trump leaving the White House, MacArthur said, “You ask yourself the question ‘How does somebody with that kind of influence, that kind of power, that kind of potential, that kind of resources, that amount of people…end up alone?’ “
Trump’s Narcissism Leadership Failure #1: Taking Credit for Things You Didn’t Do
John MacArthur called the leadership lessons “profound” and “universal” and asked “What’s the fastest pathway to leadership failure?” “It’s taking credit for things you didn’t do,” he answered and believes this is the first fastest way that led to Trump’s presidency demise.
Calling Trump’s actions an expression of pride, MacArthur said it “is destructive to what you need the most…which is HELP.” MacArthur explained that for four years that President Trump’s cabinet was changing people at a more rapid rate than he had ever witnessed. The 81-year-old pastor believes the reason for so many people leaving Trump’s staff was due to the President taking credit for things others “behind-the-scenes” were accomplishing. In reference to Trump’s behavior, MacArthur said it “was about what he had accomplished….when the mic was in his hand…it was always about him.” MacArthur pointed out, “That is very destructive to building a team. First of all, people right away find out you don’t tell the truth.”
“It explains why people couldn’t survive in that environment,” MacArthur added, “because asking that much of them at that level [and] working that hard and then usurping the credit they deserved was more than people could handle.”
The temptation for being successful and admired leads to wanting to take credit for things they didn’t do, MacArthur said, “You can’t do that in ministry because you’re betraying a lack of integrity,” and he cautioned that is the fastest way for a leader to lose their credibility.
He gave a warning for all leaders, saying, “Narcissists always do this [and] it’s un-curable.” MacArthur explained, “It is something that is so deeply ingrained in their need to be the most significant person, that rarely can it ever be countered.” Then he painted the picture that eerily mimicked President Trump’s White House departure and said, “A narcissist literally [will] run himself out the door alone before he changes this very strong tendency.”
“You would do yourself a great service if you focus your whole leadership style on giving ALL credit to other people,” MacArthur told everyone watching. “You don’t need to take credit for anything. Because you’re in leadership you already have a profile that is very visible and that’s sufficient for your pride to handle without you embellishing by taking credit for things you didn’t do.”
MacArthur went as far as to say, “Even when you deserve the credit, don’t take it…so that people feel like you are there to elevate and lift them up and show honor to them.” By resisting the temptation to claim the credit, leaders will have a team that will last a long time (Philippians 2-3:4).
Trump’s Narcissism Leadership Failure #2: Inability to Embrace the Inevitable
The second fastest track to leadership failure MacArthur gave was “The inability to embrace the inevitable.“