As long as we follow leaders, we will follow leaders who fall.

This, like eyesight that eventually fails, is a reality of humanity.

The truth is, though our tendency is to see our failures, shortcomings and lack of achievements as experiences that create *holes inside of us…some of our biggest holes come from our greatest successes.

It is not that we are bad people.  It is just that it is not in the nature of humans to handle power well.

{I know of what I write.  I have lived with a strong leader.  I have also watched him fall.  Nothing about it was easy.  All of it affected other people.}

One of my silent motivators for writing my new book, {w}hole, was to help people see humanity in those we elevate.  People who take stages are not perfect.  At the same time, as leaders, we are not recused of being purposeful about our integrity.

Today, on Michael Hyatt’s blog, I offered 5 Truths to Remember When Your Leader Falls.  I wrote this for the tribe members who have or will experience the pain of a fallen leader.  If you have not read this post, I strongly encourage you to do so after reading this post.

There, I offered encouragement to tribe members.  Here, I offer a preventative word to leaders (ministry leaders, in particular), proposing 4 symptoms to look for that suggest when your leadership may be headed in a dangerous direction.  Please know that even as I write this, I sit among you, taking my own inventory.

1) When you find yourself less willing to serve when there is no audience. Having a level of influence over a tribe of people is a great honor.  But giving speeches, signing books, or preaching from the stage of a church is not enough. Private service is not only Biblical (Matthew 6), but it is beneficial.  Doing things that may never become known is something that fuels our integrity, brings us fulfillment, and helps buoy within us the character it takes to lead people well.

2) When you constantly pull the they are jealous or out to get me card. Because leaders stand in the light, we are often targets of those who envy our platform, which sometimes leads to vocal opposition.  Yet this is not the case with all people who may not be our fans. A leader that constantly defaults to a mindset of they are just jealous or they are out to get me when they experience any type of push back or differing opinion sits in a risky place.

3) When you try to manipulate respect.  Leaders who do not take the time to care for their tribe will not have lasting influence with them.  While it is important to have faithful, trustworthy tribe members in our corner, demanding respect by creating a stringent system the tribe must follow will never benefit anyone, including the leader who seeks to put it in place.  This type of rule by intimidation suggests insecurity, fear, or an unwillingness to do the work to become the kind of leader that people are naturally drawn to follow.

4) When you constantly put yourself in situations that feed your ego.  The way we seek accountability shows our true character.  When our accountability structure is composed of people who bend things in our favor, it is of zero benefit to us and is set up to feed our need for approval.  Surrounding ourselves with truth-tellers who have nothing to gain or lose from us is vitally important, just as is being willing to travel in circles that help us keep it real.

While not an exhaustive list, the honest evaluation of where we are, as leaders, with these things may well prevent us from buckling from the weight of expectation, accolade and our own pride.  It is not that prevention preserves us from the very human aspects of leadership.  But coupled with our consistent seeking of our all-powerful Source, Jesus, it can be our check so we may balance it well.

*The definition of holes, as stated in {w}hole: internal voids that are limiting or defining.

Question: What do you see as the most important element to the integrity of leaders?

Leave me a comment and be eligible to win a FREE copy of {w}hole.  Winner announced on Monday.

For today’s post on Michael Hyatt, visit HERE.

To order a copy of {w}hole, visit HERE.

To watch the book trailer, download a FREE chapter one, or download discussion questions and expanded whole story guide, visit HERE.

{And congratulations to Becky and Abby Girl, who commented on my last post and won a FREE copy of {w}hole!}