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Leadership: A Dangerous Characteristic to Avoid

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“Everything rises and falls on leadership. And leadership truly develops from the inside out. If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside.” 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell.

Leaders are effective because of who they are on the inside – in the qualities that exist at their core. Outer behavior is an outflow of what’s going on inside.

Strong character qualities build credibility, trust, and respect.


Pride is the most prevalent and damaging problem in leadership today.

Prideful people have huge egos. (I once heard a Christian speaker say that ego means “edging God out.”) Prideful leaders are dangerous because they’ll often do anything (break laws, lie, cheat, etc.) to feed their egos and maintain power – even at the expense of the people they lead.

Too many times, I have personally seen churches destroyed and ministries/people damaged by prideful leaders. This is a serious issue.

Signs of pride

  • Power hungry: Prideful leaders are power mongers who fail to fully appreciate and utilize the talents of others. They want to “dictate” and control everything. It’s better that way.
  • Selfish: They often overlook the needs of those around them, don’t build into their team members, limit giving people opportunities and freedom to use their talents, and are stingy with praise. The focus is on them, their expertise, and all the “great” things they’re accomplishing.
  • Unteachable/Don’t Want Accountability: Prideful leaders don’t respond well to new ideas, instruction, correction, advice. recommendations, or guidance.
  • Love the limelight: Prideful leaders position themselves in the limelight, chase after applause, and bask in adoration. They rarely, if ever, share credit with members of their team.
  • Position-conscious: They believe their position is something they’re entitled to and it feeds their ego.
  • Agenda-driven: They put their agenda above everything else – even above the best interests of the people.
  • Braggarts: They have an inflated sense of self, talk about themselves a lot, and exaggerate the truth to make themselves look better.

Humility is the opposite of pride.

Signs of humility

  • Shares Power: A great leader builds a team, equips and empowers others, helps them achieve success, and gives them the freedom to operate.
  • Selfless: They sincerely care about the needs of their people and serve them. They don’t sit in their ivory tower lording power over them.
  • Teachable: They surround themselves with people of differing viewpoints, entertain new ideas, dream with others, accept suggestions, invite counsel, and receive instruction.
  • Shares the limelight: They don’t focus on pointing people to himself/herself. They show appreciation and gives others credit.
  • Not position conscious: They see their role as a privilege and an opportunity to serve.
  • No personal “agenda”: They uphold laws, mission statements, guiding values of the church/organization/nation. They listen, are flexible, and work with people to come up with the best possible solutions for those they serve.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Which type of leader have you encountered? How has their leadership impacted you?

As always, thanks so much for stopping in. I’ll leave the light on for the next time you’re here.


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