In my role as the leader of a leadership organization, I spend a lot of time studying other leaders around the world—both past and present. In my studies, I typically look for two different kinds of patterns: patterns that lead to success and patterns that lead to failure.
Today, I want to share a pattern of thinking I’ve observed. It’s a pattern every leader should avoid, and it begins with one thought:
I believe this to be—by far—a leader’s most dangerous thought.
To some degree it’s natural to have entitlement feelings as a leader. Leadership is demanding. It takes a personal toll and, if we’re not careful, we can make it about us. It’s not a difficult position to rationalize.
But once a leader has developed an entitlement pattern of thinking, the organization is in grave danger.
The greatest problem with “I deserve” is how it changes our perspective. We begin to see our contribution as more important than anyone else’s. This creates a “one-way street” mind-set, which leads to a wrong motivation for leadership.
Leadership is not about getting what you want. Leadership is about serving the people around you for the benefit of the team.
Entitlement has been the downfall of many a church leader.
When it’s more about you than about your team, you’re in trouble.
The problem is that entitlement is not like a light switch. It usually doesn’t turn on and off instantly.
A sense of entitlement builds over time, and unless dealt with continually in the heart of a leader, can lead to catastrophic results, and ultimately the end of your ministry career.
Remember, King Saul was replaced by an young, inexperience shepherd boy. Even an entitled king is replaceable.
So are we.
Every one of us.
And that’s probably the ultimate surprise for many entitled leaders: they are ultimately surprised at just how replaceable they are.
Today’s heart check:
1. Who do you think you’re better than?
2. What are you demanding this week?
3. What perks do you think you are deserving of?
4. Do you think you are irreplaceable?
5. If you packed up your office this morning, what would you demand/expect
from the church to make you ‘whole’?
Tough questions. Every leader should be asking these.
Need help with entitlement? Let’s talk.