As a leader, here are three things you shouldn’t do:
(1) You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. (See Isaiah 43:19). When you put someone into a new role, they will make mistakes; it’s inevitable, but it’s how they learn. While locking them into the same routine takes the wind out of their sails, being a leader means risking their failures and biting your lip as you let them toddle out into the unknown. Like a parent who prays harder when their teen takes the family car out for their first drive, you must accept that the challenges which frighten you are actually liberating to others.
(2) You shouldn’t confuse individual loyalty with team building (see 1 Corinthians 3:9). It’s good to work closely with key individuals, but it’s also important to stay ‘connected to each other.’ (Romans 12:5 GWT) You must make sure that everybody gets to be on the team, feels valued, and learns how to interact with one another.
(3) You shouldn’t try to micromanage people. (See 2 Corinthians 7:16 GWT). There is a difference between managing people and leading them. Managing people requires an eye for detail, whereas leading them involves vision sharing, goal setting, and motivating. And you must know the difference. When you micromanage rather than lead, morale plummets, because people need clear objectives and the freedom to figure out how to reach them. Don’t micromanage; it diminishes the sense of ownership those under you and around you need for good team dynamics and problem-solving.
Former Prime Minister John Howard used to joke that he encountered a lot of people who would say to him, ‘I can’t stand you, but at least I know what you stand for’. In his opinion, that was the single most important commodity in a leader.