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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Most DANGEROUS trait a leader can have


The most dangerous a leaders can have.

We read books written on the subject of leadership. We hear talks on the subject of leadership. We see world renown leaders stand up and take command and charge over failing governments, economies, and businesses.

The characteristics of a solid, “textbook” leader are as follows:
1. Character
2. Charisma
3. Commitment
4. Competence
5. Courage
6. Discernment
7. Focus
8. Generosity
9. Initiative
10. Vision
11. Listening
12. Passion
13. Positive Attitude
14. Problem Solving
15. Relationships
16. Responsibility
17. Security
18. Self-Discipline
19. Servanthood
20. Teachability
21. Vision
… and many more

Beware! There is a wolf in sheep’s clothing among many of these traits.

Matthew 7:15-23 (New International Version)
A Tree and Its Fruit
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

This trait, once tainted by the poison of our enemy (see John 10:10) has the power to lead thousands of people… all the way off the cliff! To the Cool-Aid! Or to their eternal frustration while employed under this type of leadership.

This trait looks so good from the outside. (And yet hides so well on the inside)

This trait distracts boys from becoming men.

This trait destroys family finances, and leads many homes to foreclosure.

This trait grips people with its illusive lies, leaving them dissatisfied and alone.

This trait has the power to cripple levels of organizational leadership within an organization, if left to itself for too long.

This trait is too duplicatable for its own good.

This trait is too contagious in a susceptible society.

This trait is bad news.

You know what this trait is?

“Renegade Optimism” 

Notice, I didn’t say “Positive Attitude.”… for that is good right and pure. But when NO fact, plan, circumstance, strategy, or effort are used to support the trait of Optimism in a leader, their “Ra-Ra-Shish-Goom-Ba” speeches have no foundation. It is fake, and any team can see right through it!

Leaders who display this quality usually bring their organization, team, or influence to its knees, quickly.

I have yet to read a book that addresses this head on… because it is such a fine line. You see, a leader must be motivated. A leader must bring energy. A leader must inspire. But when the sky really is falling, a leader should serve their team well by grabbing an umbrella for them, rather than burying their head in the sand of their own escapism.

Finish the following sentence:

When the going get tough… the tough get ________!

A renegade optimist (filled with no evidence, objective view, or real plan) might answer this the following ways:

Another mortgage! (after all, things will get better)
A new car!  
A new hobby!
A new _________.

After all... buying NEW things brings a false sense of ownership and authority... doesn't it?

Escapism is a key fruit from the tree of the "Renegade Optimist."

They'd rather run and hide from the reality that desperately needs them to show up!  (and lead!)

A renegade optimist authored the single-statement handbook that simply says “Fake it till you make it.”

They talk a big talk of positivity and motivation, then go run to stick their head back in the sand.  

They are phony impostors of true leadership, and need EntreLeader-level antibiotics to rid them of their poisonous veneer.

Real leadership doesn't shy away from "ugly." It addresses the true root issue for challenge. True, real leadership rallies the troops around a common purpose, in the midst of a struggle… 

Real leaders create a “team-sized” rain gutters to capture the falling sky, then purify it, repackage it, and sell it for $1.99 per bottle on the store shelf!

EntreLeaders get innovative when times get tough!  They confront real issues, head on, and build strategies to accomplish great things, together. 

Leaders Lead.

Romans 12:6-8 (New International Version)
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[a]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

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