youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, pride

Leadership Pride

By Doug Franklin March 23, 2011

Leadership Pride

Leadership pride is when you care more about your leadership position then you do about the followers you serve. I see this a lot in ministries and churches, people are placed in a pre-determined leadership position and they act like kings instead of servants. Control is their favorite leadership skill. They lose sight of what would actually help people and they place their focus on staying in their leadership position. They never consider effectiveness as important and the mission doesn’t matter, in fact defending their position becomes their only job.

Here is a test to see if you have leadership pride. You might have leadership pride if …

1. You are blind

Have any of your followers in the past six months suggested you are blind to what is happening around you? Do your followers believe you don’t understand what they are going through and have lost touch with them? Blindness is caused because all you can see is your importance and you miss the needs of others.

2. You never apologize

Leaders take risks and in that process people can get hurt. Leaders need to be sensitive to their followers and at times apologize for mistakes or for hurting feelings. I don’t know a leader who has not had to apologize for any number of reasons. Being unwilling to apologize means you think you can’t be wrong. No one wants to follow a jerk.

3. You stake claims

If you were say things like, “let’s see how they do when they are in-charge” or “I can’t wait until they have this position so they see how hard it is,” you are staking claim to a position and not to your own actions. It’s never hard to have a position; it’s hard to LEAD! Make sure you never state your position with the phrase “as head of this committee I will do it the way I think best” or “Since I am God’s elected head of this committee we will do it my way.” Trust me, it never goes over well.

4. You don’t have a succession plan

When you are a leader in church you should be working your way out of a job by developing other leaders. The church needs many leaders so you can’t be the only one. If you are not spending your time teaching others how to do your role, you may have leadership pride.

5. You live on a pedestal and not on a team

People with leadership pride often see their role as so vital only they can make a decision. They fail to understand the power of the community and how working through a team can bring collaboration. Collaboration always produces better ideas and thus better solutions. They also steal ideas and don’t give credit to the creators, thus pushing the creative people away from them. Prideful leaders get the glory in the short-run but they lose their creative followers in the long run.

6. You play the quit card

Have you ever said, “if you don’t do it my way then I quit”? Prideful leaders like to play the quit card because they think that losing them would be the end for the ministry. Actually I think it would be great if they did quit because it would allow humble leaders to take their place. Leaders who play the quit card are selfish and some of the worst kind of leaders.

So how’d you do? If you answered yes to any of these, well, let’s just say we all need a good slice of humble pie every once in a while. In the end, it’ll make us better leaders.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More