Don’t Fall for These 7 Leadership Traps

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Scott Williams shares common mistakes he's encountered among church leaders.

Oftentimes, leaders are not always measured on their wins or successes, but rather their mistakes and failures.

A leader is supposed to have wins, therefore they are oftentimes overlooked; however, those mistakes stick out like a sore thumb.

I have had the opportunity to both work in leadership positions and provide leadership consulting for publicly traded corporations, political entities, correctional organizations and ministries. In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to speak at conferences and consult with churches all around the world. 

Over these years, I have made and witnessed many leadership mistakes. As I look at mistakes in the context of ministry leadership, there are seven common mistakes that seem to be prevalent among ministry leaders:

7 Mistakes Church Leaders Make

1. Blame It On Ministry.

Ministry leaders will blame their unwillingness to make tough decisions on the fact that “It’s Ministry” or, “I know they are not doing so and so, but we are a church.”

Yes it might be a church or a ministry role; however, that’s no excuse for not holding people accountable, expecting excellence and demanding a high level of performance. If secular leaders are expected to perform, shouldn’t ministry leaders be held to an even higher standard. … Not only perform, but perform with integrity! 

Don’t blame it on ministry!

2. Copy Cat.

Oftentimes, ministry leaders try to replicate what they see popular churches, ministries or pastors doing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for ministry leaders to learn from what other successful ministries are doing and apply those ideas, concepts, practices, systems and theories contextually to their ministry. The problem with copy cats is they listen to a pastor at a conference or see something another ministry is doing and try to 100 percent replicate it, without understanding the history, context and DNA behind those decisions, practices or systems. 

Don’t be a copy cat!

3. Only Learn From Within Christian/Ministry Circles.

Ministry leaders make the mistake of limiting their learning circles; they only learn from other Christian leaders, Christian books, other pastors, church leaders, etc.

Ministry leaders should open up their arsenal to learn from what industry and major corporations as well. Specifically, as it relates to leveraging technology, leadership principles, HR practices, talent search and understanding customer service. In most cases, industry is normally 10-plus years ahead of the strategies/practices ministries are implementing. Industry, including the sports industry, can teach ministry leaders a lot of valuable information; ministry leaders must be willing to seek and learn. If we open our eyes, we can find those God moments and learning all around us. 

Don’t exclusively learn from within Christian/ministry circles!

Scott Williams Scott Williams served as a key leader and Campus Pastor for LifeChurch.tv. He is the Chief Solutions Officer for Nxt Level Solutions, a consulting company he founded to help businesses, non-profits and individuals with both internal and external growth. Scott is speaker, strategist, consultant and developer of leaders. He is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com, and leverages Social Media to make a Kingdom impact. Scott is passionate about leadership development, organizational growth and diversity. He is the author of “Church Diversity – Sunday The Most Segregated Day Of The Week.” Scott is married, a father of two, and lives in Oklahoma City, OK.

More from Scott Williams or visit Scott at http://www.bigisthenewsmall.com/

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