14 May Dealing With Insecurities in Leadership
The future belongs to those who can see it!
They make plans for the fulfilment of what they see; this positions them to experience it.
That ability to see is what having a vision is about. Many possibilities await our discoveries, adjustments and preparations as we find ways of not allowing past blunders to affect future destines. Many past blunders are contained revelations of the insecurities of past leaders. The present leaders must understand themselves, understand their environment, have a healthy concept their peculiar challenges and navigate their ways into the future. They will need mentors and be sensitive in their navigational skills to avoid the traps that held men of old from making progress in the directions that are now open to us all. If our present insecurities are not dealt with, we shall repeat past blunders.
Leadership and management walk hand in hand. Leadership deals with direction and vision while management deals with effectiveness, efficiency and resource management. The future is unclear where leadership sounds an unsure sound and achievement is impossible without proper management principles being put in place. We may be fighting an unnecessary battle if we do not know the right one meant for us and we could be going on a stroll if no one is following our leadership.
There are different styles of leadership and different types of personalities. Some traditional concepts of leadership may have contributed to the bottleneck we find ourselves in. Just like some aspects of the traditional concept of marriage may have lead to many divorces today. The challenge is to look at the concepts of old and re-examine their applications and see how the inevitable changes that have taken place in our times will be made to influence how we apply ourselves to the concepts we find ourselves allowing to function in our lives.
One of the concepts of old is the concept that some are born leaders and others are not. If Leadership is influence then that concept should be challenged. Others may have some leadership instincts built into them by nature but it does not mean that they are already made leaders without training or process. That concept also had led to the one-man leadership concept where an organisation rises and falls on the strength and weakness of the one leader. Wise leaders in secular world are building leadership-teams around themselves so that the organisation is stronger for having a leadership-team rather than one person.
Every team must have a team-leader. Team work has many advantages and where there is harmony in the team many weaknesses are compensated for and the organisation benefits greatly as burn-outs are reduced and work load is shared according to each person’s strength and capacity. Some fear that team work causes people to lose their individual identity, but the truth is that we are not ever going to be at the same level in personal development or leadership responsibilities, we just give room for everyone to grow healthily within the confines of the team.
My wife, Rev. Funke Ewuosho, did some messages “Weak Though Anointed” and “Ranking Versus Hierarchy” which show the concepts of leadership that need to be examined. David had followers who followed him so they could take advantage of his weaknesses. Are we being rated according to our development or accomplishment or simply how long we have been in the organisation? Religious politics happens when with wrong motives people are made to be subdued under incompetence and no attempt is made to improve and develop leadership; when an incompetent leader uses his position to justify incompetence with no desire to improve. Whereas a not too competent person may be put in a position of leadership, the person begins the process of developing their level of leadership so that in a short time their rise will be obvious to all. In religious politics, followers join the game with flattery and falsely esteeming their leader only to take advantage of his weaknesses for their benefit. Such superfluous acknowledgements are not from the heart but to please certain people and be seen to be in harmony with the system put in place. The leader’s name now becomes their symbol of authority to oppress others. In such circles asking ‘why’ can be seen to be rebellious.
I am not an advocate for rebellion and ‘why’ can be rebellious at times but I am examining a system where incompetence, ignorance and mediocrity are all passed as alright because it is coming from the ‘leader’. Nobody can bring about accountability and development is not demanded but rather conformity to the pleasures of people around. Accountability should be part of leadership. If others are accountable to you, who are you accountable to? Set leaders can make themselves accountable to a group of ministers outside their church with whom they have mutually respectable relationships or their proven eldership as the case may be.
You may not have noticed, but we have been discussing insecurities in leadership. In going through old concepts we have touched on the core reason for insecurity in leadership: the faulty sense of responsibility and authority without clear lines of accountability and performance monitoring for mutual benefit of organisation and individuals. We all have insecurities as human beings and we let these spread into every area of our lives.
Our responses to praise and criticism are a healthy indication of our maturity levels and hence our insecurities. If I get flattered with praise, which opens me up to losing my sense of responsibility to effect corrections, and people who look up to me can then get away with behaviour that is untoward; the flattery has revealed my insecurity. Any flatterer will get away with anything around me. You can see this is not a matter of age. Many people in their 50’s can still be insecure. On the other hand, if criticism can paralyse me to the point of not being willing to function again then my insecurity has been revealed again. The word censure can be used instead of criticism. Maturity is a function of decisions made and acted upon, not a function of time alone. An unwillingness, to share, to give others a chance, to handle objections and a slow response after a correction, are all signs of insecurities.
Corrections usually demand a change of position, style or approach. These all become necessary as we contemplate the challenges of the future. We need to build our security on our relationship with God and allow Him to mature us to the point that nothing else is unchangeable except our walk with Him. When Paul said that I know nothing except Christ and Him crucified, it may mean that nothing else is unchanging in his life like the foundation built on Christ and His crucifixion. Joseph dreamt of becoming one that others bowed to, he went through the PIT (Prophet in training) before he became what he saw himself to be. He had to leave the fulfilment of his dream in the hand of God but kept obeying God all the way. That is the attitude that builds security into us. As we do what the word says and take care of our feelings in the presence of God and not let wrath get the better side of us nor let self-pity destroy us, we shall mature and position ourselves for the future.
A few lines on life and time management will help in our study. To properly manage your time vis-Þ-vis your work, as a leader have the following in mind: Have a vision for the work you are doing. If you belong to a big organisation, your vision should be taken from the bigger vision of the organisation. Your vision should lead to your purpose statement. The section or unit you head should be contributing to the overall vision. Your purpose will be your individual statement that captures what you are about and what you see yourself become and do in fulfilment of the vision. From purpose we get goals.
Goals are land mark achievements that are necessary to fulfil purpose as stated. Goals can be either long range or short range. They must be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible. After you have set goals, you define tasks that are important for the goals to be achieved. With tasks you apportion time, are they daily, weekly or monthly? Time management helps to define urgent and important tasks. It is important to you if it helps accomplish your goals. 20% of activities achieve 80% of results so put a whole load of importance to your vital tasks and give them your best shot. So tasks can be prioritised according to your definition of importance and value. Watch out for the urgent but not important time killers. Don’t waste your time on none important none urgent tasks; so you can come up with daily to-do lists and weekly review what you are doing and not doing and measure your progress towards your goals so you can achieve your purpose. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. When tasks are allocated to time then planning is realistic. You will have a sense of fulfilment when you see your goals achieved. If they do not get achieved think of what you are becoming for setting the goals. If you aim for the sky but get above the mountains, see how far you have gone from the ground. Don’t give up, adjust your goals and give it another try.
Trying to accomplish great things is a sign of greatness in itself.
- give your best to all your endeavours.
- give others a chance to excel, succeed and be their best.
- don’t be intimidated by the success of another. there is room for all the birds to fly, no competition in the sky. Fly and let others fly too.
- know your role and responsibilities. handle them with love and humility. it’s a privilege to serve not a right.
- recognise your contribution and give towards it consistently. that is your investment into the future.
- be a team player. you need others and they need you!
- overcome personal challenges with your faith and the prayers of others.
- commit to life of prayers and study of the word of god.