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It’s Easier NOT to Lead

Leading Out Front

Photo by reds on tour.

Leadership is a hot topic with plenty of aspiring and hopeful people clamoring for success in its arena. But the reality is that it’s easier NOT to lead.

When we aspire to leadership, we envision the good stuff – the people who will look to us for direction, the success of our organization, and the accolades of those who follow us. What we can’t really anticipate is the tough stuff – the people who will question us, leave us, and criticize us unfairly.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a leader with influence, or you hope to be. Stop. Take inventory. Is this what you really want? If you lead, you’re going to have to disappoint people, redirect people, confront people, motivate people to do things they aren’t quite ready to do, and while you may be respected, you will also be disliked and often, you’ll be alone.

Leadership and popularity sometimes occupy the same space, but are never the same thing. Decide which you want.

If you want to be popular, lead halfheartedly, if at all. If you want to influence people, then proceed full speed ahead. The invitation is open for more leaders, and there is certainly a vacuum in our culture waiting to be filled by leaders with character. But count the cost.

It’s easier not to lead. It’s easier to watch from the stands. It’s easier to go with the flow. There is less friction and less pain.

But in the end, maybe God isn’t calling you to do the easy thing.

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