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Choose Your Downside

Every leadership style has a downside.  You’ve got to choose yours, and I’ve got to choose mine.

For example, say you are a leader who places a high value on harmony, honor, spiritual authority, etc.  You may find that you have trouble soliciting honest feedback from those you lead because they don’t want to even flirt with being disrespectful or overly negative.

On the other hand, if you create a culture of everybody speak your mind at all times/everyone has an equal say, you may struggle when people abuse the system.  Individuals may become fixated on their agendas or entrenched in their opinions.  This can make it very difficult to rally the team quickly around a unified vision.

Another example: If your leadership style is very hands-off, it can nurture a culture of empowerment.  People will hopefully ascend to higher levels of leadership because you aren’t squelching their gift by micromanaging.

The downside of this approach: a hands-off leadership approach can leave a lot of room for vision misalignment.  The leader may get blindsided one day by how far things have drifted from the original vision.

In a perfect world, we would keep ourselves dead in the center of each of these extremes, embodying the best of both worlds.  In the real world, the balance is a struggle.
You’ve got to choose your downside, be aware of its implications, and do your best to minimize the liabilities.

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Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Elevation Church meets at eight locations in the Charlotte area, as well as one location in Toronto, Canada. The church has been named one of the Fastest-Growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.