Sunday, April 22, 2012

Constructive Criticism

The tough part of being a leader is smiling and nodding through the criticism you will receive. Admit it. You have been given a lot of advice since you embarked on your journey; some of it noteworthy, some of it, well, nothing more than an opinion. Being a good listener does come with the territory, however, listening is more than just tolerating an opinion. There may be some reputable constructive criticism in there somewhere.

Bob Gas offers excellent advice for those that will no doubt at some point be the recipient of good natured, constructive criticism.

'...A wise person stays calm when insulted.' Proverbs 12:16

How can you tell constructive criticism from destructive criticism? By practicing these principles from God's Word:

1) Resolve that whatever it is, you'll handle it constructively. 'A wise person stays calm when insulted.' Angry responses only short-circuit rational thinking and trigger emotion-driven reactions. 'If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding' (Proverbs 15:31-32 NLT). Always ask yourself, 'Can I learn something here?

2) Consider the character of your critic. 'An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing' (Proverbs 12:17-18 NLT). Is your critic trustworthy? Are their words meant to help you? If so, appreciate them and grow wiser. 'Better to be criticised by a wise person than to be praised by a fool' (Ecclesiastes 7:5 NLT). Are their words intended to demean you and damage your self-worth? Words that humble you have a godly purpose, but words that humiliate don't; so reject them.

3) Check your conscience. Paul wrote: 'My conscience is clear...It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide' (1Corinthians 4:4 NLT). If you're in the clear, leave the outcome with God. He alone sees the whole picture.

4) If you are criticised because of your faith, consider yourself blessed. 'If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you' (1Peter 4:14 NIV). Rejoice, your life is pleasing to God.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ten Signs You Are An Insecure Leader

#1 – You see people as working for you and not with you.

#2 – Everyone who pushes back on any of your ideas is automatically branded as disloyal. (Because for you “ loyalty” is defined as, “loving everything I say and do!”)

#3 – Every time someone begins to say something good about someone else, you always have to be the person who says, “Yes, but what you don’t know about them is…” and from that point tear them down under the disguise of being concerned about them.

#4 – You get jealous when someone on your team receives any sort of public affirmation but you are not mentioned at all. (Remember how Saul felt when it was said, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”)

#5 – You cannot celebrate what God is doing in other churches. (OR you always critique instead of celebrating!)

#6 – You always believe someone on your staff is going to attempt a coup and try to take over your role as a leader. (This leads to suspicion and distrust, which will destroy ANY team.)

#7 – You dismiss what God is doing in another ministry because it does not line up exactly with where you are theologically.

#8 – You lead through intimidation, always threatening to “fire someone” if things “don’t shape up around here.”

#9 – You really do like the fact that people on your staff are afraid of you.

#10 – You feel the need to prove yourself in every meeting you are in by seizing every opportunity you have to speak, believing that everything in the meeting is not going to be its absolute best until you have had your say about it.

Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, Greenville and Florence, South Carolina.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Confronting Mob Mentality

Some of those that cried "Hosanna" on Sunday, cried "Crucify him" on Friday. The crowd can turn on you quickly, and when this happens, how will you respond? Having the inner strength to endure the hostility of those in your organization takes patience and time to cultivate.

Some leadership principles are placed in you in utero; for others it takes the tried and true method of time and experience to successfully master them. You will not be able to conquer every obstacle at the beginning of your career, just as Jesus didn't deal with the crowd turning on him at the beginning of his ministry. By committing to a life long goal of leadership, you realize each hurdle offers the experience needed to surmount the next one. Don't get in a rush to learn it all, do it all, or arrive at a certain destination because it's a journey. Be willing to stick with it for the long haul, challenge by challenge.

One more thought regarding mob mentality; just as it can turn against you, given enough time, the crowd will soon be your greatest source of encouragement. Don't take it to heart or say something that could burn a bridge in the process. Keep your cool, look beyond the present situation and smile through the negativity. This is how you earn your reputation as a man or woman of influence.