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5 Leadership Lies We Are Tempted to Believe

2) Mistakes define you.

Mistakes don’t define you as a leader any more than success does.

Remember, you’re never as good as people say you are, and you’re never as bad as they say you are.

Don’t get stuck in discouragement or beat yourself up because you’ve made some mistakes. Who of us hasn’t? Keep leading.

How you respond to, learn, and grow from mistakes helps shape you as a leader.

Give yourself permission to take risks, stretch, and make mistakes. Just don’t make the same mistake twice because that indicates you are not learning.

The truth is that you are defined as a leader by how well you love, serve, and invest in others. And you are defined as a person by what Jesus says is true about you. And His grace is amazing!

3) Results are guaranteed.

There is no set formula for success. There are strong and proven principles and strategies to help guide you in the right direction, but they only help you, they don’t guarantee results.

Far too many leaders get discouraged and frustrated, including at God, saying, “I’m doing everything right, why isn’t this working?” That’s a natural human response, but it doesn’t help.

Jesus indeed calls us to be both faithful and fruitful, but sometimes He defines results differently than we do.

Leaders can get jammed up in their thinking if they believe that God owes them specific results or an amount of success because they did everything right. That can be a very discouraging place to live.

The true guiding principle is that ultimately, we must obey God and do our best at what He asks of us, and trust Him with the results.

This is not an excuse to lower the bar of expectation. As leaders, we are still responsible.

It’s a realization that there are seasons when obedience outweighs performance.

4) It’s lonely at the top.

You have probably heard the phrase “it’s lonely at the top,” and when it comes to the weight of responsibility, this can feel true. But it isn’t actually true unless you allow it to be.

No leader should ever operate in an independent manner that causes them to feel alone. (Regardless if leading from the top, middle, or beginning level.)

There are moments when you carry “the buck stops here” decision-making responsibility. Admittedly, they are weighty. However, it’s never wise to do so in a vacuum. It’s always better to lead in the context of a team, and therefore you are not alone even though you carry substantial responsibility.

It’s always best to bring trusted advisors into your inner circle. Leaders who love and care about you, pray for you, advise you, speak honest truth to you, and support you.

Any leader who is lonely, while they may not have chosen it, or prefer it, they have allowed it.

5) Position determines influence.

The leadership lie that believes your position determines your influence is likely the most common on this list. Yet we know it’s not true.

However, this lie trips up countless leaders, because they behave as if it’s true.

Part of this reality is because it’s normal and natural to want to rise in an organization. We think higher is better. But that’s not always what is best for you or what God has in mind for that season in your life.

There’s nothing wrong with rising higher in the organization, but don’t be fooled into thinking that a title gives you more influence. Or that the lack of a title reduces your ability to make a significant difference.

The important question is, Are you willing to stay put where God placed you until He’s ready to promote you?

When that is settled, then you can cultivate maximum influence wherever you are in the organization. Influence that is for the good and growth of others.

True influence is about adding value to others and helping the team realize the vision.

This article about leadership lies originally appeared here.

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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.