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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

04 Oct '12

Suggestions for insecure leaders

Posted by T.J. Addington in insecurity, unhealthy leaders
Insecurity among ministry leaders is common. I am not sure why it is but I know that it is. The ability to overcome insecurity, however, is one of the key factors in a leaders long term success. So, developing some intentional strategies to move from insecurity to greater personal security is a development issue for many!

I have some suggestions to consider.

Insecurity often stems from the need to be right and a fear of being proven wrong on some issue. Here is a question to consider: what is the worst thing that can happen if I am wrong? Or to put it another way: why do I have a need to be right? There is really a more important question and that is "What is the best solution?" If we move from a need to be "right" to what is the "best" we no longer need to worry about whether we get our way. Rather we get the best solution. People respect that - a lot!

Insecurity comes from needing to prove something. Here is a personal issue to ponder: What do I need to prove to others? Is it that I am competent? Is it that I can lead? Is it that I am a success? Needing to prove something is usually about some unfinished business in our own life that is driving us and spills over to others in unhealthy ways.

What if I had nothing to prove? What if I could live in the freedom of just being me? I actually live by a principle of "Nothing to prove, nothing to lose." It is freeing! And, when I start to get defensive over something I just remind myself that I don't have to prove anything. I can just be me. It is a reprogramming of our minds.

Insecurity can make us hostage to the expectations of others, especially if we need their validation for our lives and ministries. Needing the validation of others causes anxiety and fear which is why it holds us hostage. It keeps us from just being ourselves. Often it stems from not having healthy validation and acceptance from our own parents and we are still trying to earn it from wherever we can. Not only that but as leaders we will often be targets for choices we need to make and leaders who need validation from others often cannot lead well as a result.

Learning to get our validation from our heavenly Father first and from close trusted friends second is far healthier than trying to live up to all the expectations of others - an impossible task in the end.

Those who suffer from insecurity can grow into more secure, self defined and mature individuals. However, it starts with some intense self reflection as to the reasons for our insecure behaviors and an intentional effort to change our thinking and behaviors. The alternative is not only personal fear but behaviors which negatively impact those we lead.