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How to Know When Your Leaders Aren't Following You

You have worked hard to find the right leader for the right need. In all three levels listed below, you have found the following to be true of them.
Track Record – They have shown an increasing layer of graduated responsibility and influence. You can look at those they lead or their scope of leadership, and over the years, the effect of their presence has measurable and definable moments.
Resilience – Repeatedly you can see or have known them to consistently step over, around, or push through obstacles and challenges that would paralyze average leaders. 
Focus – They don’t care much about anything other than what they lead. Their focus will either generate admiration and respect or repel those who do not understand their drive.
The biggest problem with passionate people who have spent considerably large chunks of time, effort, and energy within a movement or mission is that they have high expectations. Those expectations, often under the surface, are never felt stronger than when you find out that you have severely disappointed them, and they are no longer interested in your initiatives. If a passionate person feels as if they are being marginalized, ignored, or disapproved of by those who lead above them, a sequence of events will begin.
1. Disappointment
2. Confusion
3. Hope
4. Confusion
5. Hope
6. Disappointment
7. Decision
It will be up to you how you react to a passionate leader, and it will be up to you to steer their passion in a direction that is healthy and appropriate. The stakes are high, and you have put too much energy into their role to let yourself watch them unravel. 
Here is how Patrick Lencioni in his book, 3 Signs of a Miserable Job, as posted by WhatsBestNext.com put it.
1. Anonymity
Lencioni writes:
People cannot be fulfilled in their work if they are not known. All human beings need to be understood and appreciated for their unique qualities by someone in a position of authority…People who see themselves as invisible, generic, or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing.
Very basic and very true.
2. Irrelevance
If you don’t feel like your job matters to someone, it will feel irrelevant — and thus miserable. Here’s how Lencioni puts it:
Everyone needs to know that their job matters to someone. Anyone. Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply will not find lasting fulfillment.
3. Immeasurement
Why do we like sports so much? One reason is that there is a clear, objective measure for how a team is performing.
But imagine a basketball game where the winner was not determined by the number of points scored, but by the subjective impression of the crowd. That would be miserable because the team — and its fans — would lose the sense that there are objective things that they can do that influence whether they are performing better or worse. Lack of measurement in your job is like playing a game without keeping score.
Here’s how Lencioni puts it:
Employees need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves. They cannot be fulfilled in their work if their success depends on the opinions or whims of another person, no matter how benevolent that person may be. Without a tangible means for assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.

In many cases, it comes down to just these three things. If you feel miserable in your job, it may because one or all of these factors is in play: you feel anonymous, you aren’t sure your work matters to anyone, and/or there is no way to measure your progress.

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Chad Swanzy has served in youth ministry for 15 years and currently works as the student ministry director at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Learn more from Chad and ask him your questions at ChadSwanzy.com.