It’s not news: Leaders have the potential to do much good but also much bad because of the authority they hold. I know, we’re on the cusp of an election, but I’m not just talking about political leaders. Community leaders, business leaders, spiritual leaders, volunteer leaders. And each of us in our sphere of influence.
A caution sign I often see among leaders who negatively influence others is posing demands and benchmarks for others while excusing their own behavior. The tendency is in all of us. Did you have a sibling? How often did one of you try to blame the other when faced with punishment but take credit when a reward was involved?
How often do we twist the facts and how we present them just enough to put someone in a better or worse light than another? When we disagree with people, how do we handle ourselves? How do we talk with and about the other person? When we’ve done something wrong, even if it seems to be so slight, how do we handle it? How authentically are we living?
It’s not just about leadership and influence. It’s about character and relationships. You’d think we’d grow out of some negative qualities and habits. I think we can just as easily slip into them. Let’s be honest with ourselves and others.
Our character has issues when our authenticity is unreliable. We all have flaws and we all have strengths, but how we handle both across a variety of situations and relationships and time matters. Even if this is a familiar dynamic and lesson to you, it’s still important to bring it to your attention. Every one of us can grow in our willingness to reflect and see the truth in ourselves—or perhaps the fissures in truth. We need to see the truth in others and respond appropriately to each situation, but today is a good day to ask God to reveal some truth in yourself.