When Leaders Don't Want to Lead

Cleaning chandelier
(Flickr )

Creative blocks are a common malady for those who create. Writers have blocks. Artists awake some mornings, uninspired. And musicians play notes rather than music.

So, it's probably not a stretch to assert that leaders also experience blocks.

I remember several mornings growing up when my mother wanted to change her name. She didn't want to have her name called "one more time!" I guess we could say she had a mother block but in this context, I understand it to be a leader block.

Sometimes, leaders lose their energy to lead.

I remember another time when I was attending a convention and was sentenced to a week in a Ritz Carlton. I spoke several times at the convention and, on the very last day of the meeting, was to meet with a group of franchise owners to hear about their issues and opinions of what needed to be improved. It was to be a gripe fest. I was assigned to be the "catcher in the why."

I sat outside the meeting room waiting for my turn to face the squad.

About that time, I noticed a whistling worker climbing his ladder to clean the tear drops of a chandelier. I wanted very much to trade places with him. His only worry seemed to be not falling off the ladder.  

I didn't want to lead one more day. I was mentally exhausted from the pressure of "being on" and "providing all the right answers."

Leader block occurs when we see the mirror instead of the hurt in front of us. We see the problem more than we see the solution. We see the details of now, instead of the silhouette of the future. We slip into the back of the line rather than the leader post in front.

Sometimes the feet we wash in service kick us in the face. Sometimes, both feet are deployed. The leader keeps washing.

Every block has a remedy. The best cure I can offer for leader block is to pray for improved vision. When I am blocked, I need to look up and forward. If I lose the why, I lose my way.

Leader block is a sign that my flesh is alive.

I don't have time for that. I have a ladder to climb and tears to dry.  

"But Jesus called them together, and said, 'You know that those who are appointed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever among you would be greatest must be servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many'" (Mark 10:42-45).

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.

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