When leadership sucker punches you in the gut

Sherry Surratt writes:

Imagine getting a phone call like this: Mrs. Smith, we’d like to offer you an  exciting new position that will entail    heartache, disappointment and make you want to bang your head against the wall. It will be isolating, lonely, and the load of responsibility might make you run from the room screaming. We can promise you that someone  will criticize you, work against you and try to discourage even your best ideas and there will be days when you’ll question your own abilities. Are you interested?


Who in the world is going to answer, ‘you betcha, sign me up!’ 

But actually we do everyday. What I described is leadership. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. It gives you a headache. But any true leader will tell you it’s the most worthwhile way you can invest your influence. And when a great opportunity comes along, they have a hard time saying no. Why?

Here’s what I think: leadership isn’t a position or job, it’s a calling. I believe everyone is called to influence and has a God-ordained circle they’ve been given, but I don’t believe everyone is called to lead. I think leaders are called to make life better in unique ways and God has gifted leaders with unique abilities to do this.

This is the part though that I don’t think we talk about: sometimes leadership hurts.

If you’re the boss or lead a team, it can be lonely. There are days you alone have to make the final call and then stand by it, sometimes to the sound of crickets. Sometimes you get treated differently. You don’t get included in the conversation, because you are the topic of conversation. Your team can look to you for a decision and you get that shaky feeling, wondering  if you have the stuff to make it. It keeps you up at night, causes angst and depletes your reserves. Maybe if we talked about it more, it wouldn’t take us so by surprise when we experience it. The truth is, leadership even in it’s best form, can hurt down deep, in your heart, in your thoughts and in your emotions.

Here’s the deeper part I don’t think we talk about: when leadership hurts, we think we’re doing it wrong.

Truth is… you’re not!  Read more from Sherry here…

One Comments

  • PastorShane November 16, 2012 Reply

    There are 2 kinds of church conflict — that you know about — and that you don’t know about…. But rest assured, both are alive and well in every church to some degree. The deal breaker is whether you focus on the conflicts or on the joy of The Lord and what He is doing in the lives of people in your community.

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