The Leadership Switch | Noah Kaye

LIAM: I have begun to notice a trend in myself and I realised I was not alone. I’d be moving along in a process with those I was leading, trying to be discussional, create consensus, when suddenly we would hit a point where I would either be highly tempted, or give into the temptation to be strong and directive. Why the sudden switch? Why weren’t there 10 steps between those two forms of leading? I decided to ask Noah Kaye, who wrote here a couple of weeks ago, and I may ask one or two others to chime in on the subject;


Leadership is tricky. The longer I live in it, the less I’m sure I agree with most popular definitions of it.

Here’s one small leadership tendency that my buddy asked me to reflect on: all too commonly, a leader will be leading with grace and consensus making everyone feel involved and heard and then BAM, they switch styles. From gentle to firm. From soft to hard. From diplomatic to direct. And it surprises and hurts people. I’ve done it. I did it a month ago when I didn’t like a direction my team was going. But, why? What happens to cause the quick switch? I suggest two things are most commonly behind this:

  1. Positional pride…so we flex our muscles to show everyone who’s boss, just in case they forgot. It’s an attitude root that is still not submitted fully to God’s spirit. It’s hard though. I get it. And I actually think you have to look like an ass a few times before the Holy Spirit can gently show you that it’s not wise or right.

  2. Insecurity…many leaders are wildly insecure. But the insecurities can be masked most of the time. With humility. With grace. With skill. With charisma. With position. But when things start to get out of our control, we fear and react by trying to control the environment around us…probably so that our insecurities don’t leak out. It’s way easier to flip into “directive mode” than it is to flip into “vulnerable mode.”

This is all closely connected to healthy decision making styles. One of the best resources I’ve ever encountered on this is written by a friend of mine in the states. He says that a wise leader will prayerfully use the following four decision-making styles, will know when to use each one, and will be authentic and transparent when using them. All four are Biblical and appropriate styles of decision making.

And you can read about UNhealthy decision making styles here

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