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5 Leadership Lies We Are Tempted to Believe

leadership lies

A fast pace with high pressure can cause us to believe functional leadership lies even if we’ve been taught they’re not true.

I call them functional lies because they are not moral or sinful, but they can still be harmful.

“Leadership lies” may be too strong a phrase, but “misconceptions” is too weak.

I’ve met too many great people that lead as if these statements are true. So, allow some grace for perhaps an overly strong word, and let’s get practical.

What causes us to believe things that are not true?

  • Sometimes it’s as simple as we’ve never been taught the true or accurate principle.
  • They are easier to deal with and more comfortable to accept than the reality of truth.
  • It can also be that we want to believe them because we hope they are true.

And finally, as mentioned, a fast-paced ministry with increasing pressure can cause us to adopt ideas that aren’t true because when the pressure gets high enough, we lose perspective.

Sometimes it’s not about what we believe; it’s about what we practice. When it comes to leadership, what you put into practice declares what you believe.

For example, I may not believe that it’s “lonely at the top,” but if I behave that way, that trumps my belief.

The same idea is true in reverse. For example, you may be discipling someone who says they believe in the biblical principle of tithing, yet they do not give. That practice trumps their belief.

We could list twenty leadership lies. In fact, if you have a minute, leave a comment below with leadership lies you would add to the list.

5 Leadership Lies:

1) Activity equals productivity.

I know that activity does not equal productivity, yet sometimes I will peddle harder, believing that will make me go faster and farther. But merely doing more stuff can actually have the opposite effect.

Especially if it leaves you no margin to do what is truly important.

Busyness does not determine fruitfulness.

I’ve met hundreds of leaders who work really hard. They are always on the go, and their task list is long. Incredibly long. But they don’t seem to get much done when it comes to producing results.

A closer look reveals tasks like selecting the color of paint for the nursery, picking up coffee for the office, and restacking the communion trays. These things need to be done, but there is someone else who would love to help by taking care of them.

Those three may not be on your list, but the big question is, “Are you highly productive or merely busy?”

Do only the things that you can do best and raise up leaders to help to take care of the rest.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.