I'm closing this week's topic with a reminder that leadership can be a painful exercise.
It was painful to realize that sometimes a leader can be too kind. Many years ago, one of our staff members made a huge mistake. I should have exposed the mistake to our core leaders...but I didn't. I should have removed him when he refused to completely follow through with his assigned discipline...but I didn't. I should have recognized the coming destruction when he started attempting to push us in a direction I knew wasn't right...but I didn't. I should have strongly warned those close to him that they were making a mistake to follow him out to start his own church...but I didn't.
After the damage was done, my painful feelings of failure were brought into focus by a frustrated friend. He jabbed his finger at me and said, "Sam, you are wise, but wisdom does not a leader make!" Many in the room with him that night came to my defense. He came back a few days later and apologized.
It still hurt.
Fast forward a few years and a few thousand leadership decisions later...
I still love working with people. I am full of joy in my role as a leader. I am also different because of that pain...
If the mistake is big, I expose it and seek input. If someone is unwilling to submit to those helping them restore, I will remove them. I am always cautious about the difference between those who bring fresh ideas to the table and those who try to bend the rest of us to their agenda -- the former is highly welcomed while the latter is unacceptable. Finally, if I see someone running blindly toward a cliff, I warn them, tell them I love them no matter what they do and invite them back should they choose to leave anyway. (Those who return are some of the most loyal people I know.)
Those are heavy lessons for a Friday, but they leave me grateful for the pain.
What pain are you grateful for?