Okay I need your feedback.  Now.  Humor me, it’s easy.  Scroll down to the comments section. Or click on the article title if you’re reading this on the feed or email, then scroll down to comments.

When you get there, give me your first response to this question.

Think of someone who is in a leadership position over your life – work, church, nonprofit, political.  How does that leader most often make you feel?

One word answers are fine.  Diatribes are fine.  Rants are fine.  Gushing is allowed, too.  First names are OK.  Give your answer,  then click “submit” and come back to the top.

I’ll wait right here.

(This is me waiting.)

Okay.  Back?  Let’s talk. [click to continue…]


bad leaderLast week I was having a “what do I do” conversation with a youth pastor in another city.  Seems he found himself at an impasse with his boss – the senior pastor of the church – over what leadership was supposed to look like.  His take on it:  the “leader” isn’t leading anybody.  Not him, not the others involved in the problem.  Nobody.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a frustrated children’s pastor about a supervisor who was repeatedly letting important details fall through the cracks.  It got so bad, the  entire church leadership team was hindered in getting their work done.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve counseled or consulted with employees or constituents – inside and outside Church World – who are crying out for visionary, heart-based leadership.  All they get instead are insecure emperors, oilers of the machinery, or absent-minded trips down memory lane.

Whenever I hear yet another story of position holders who are failing the people they’re supposed to be leading, I have two knee-jerk reactions.  First, I want to take up the constituents’ offense.  I want to bark and growl and roll my eyes and look incredulously and fuss and fume.  Second, I wonder if anybody could issue the same complaint about me if they were completely honest.

Just for laughs, why don’t we stick out necks out and try on an idea.  Leadership failures aren’t the result of somebody setting out to ruin an organization or to make your life or work miserable.  (Hey, I said “try it on”… if it doesn’t fit, we can fuss and fume some more later.)  Assuming that’s true, then, where do we go wrong?  How do leaders begin to suck the life out of people or organizations?  Here are 10 things to watch for: [click to continue…]


JumpOK, so there’s this guy who’s asking his brother-in-law for a major favor.  This isn’t like lending a wheelbarrow or babysitting the kids for a weekend.  This order’s pretty tall.  As in,

Could you leave your family?

Oh, and your country, too?

And help me babysit my family of three million?

Hey, what’s a family for?

And get this – all indications are that that the brother-in-law did it. 

Curious yet?  I sure would be, for several reasons: [click to continue…]


Earn My Trust

by Andy Wood on August 26, 2009

in 100 Words

SalesmanIf you want to tell me something you know,

But you can’t tell me everything you know,

Then tell me first what has cost you greatly.

Tell me what you’ve paid a high price to understand.

Until then, everything else is trivia.

A pitch.

A con, where the joke’s on you.

But when I understand the life message forged from your scars,

Or find the hill you’d choose to die on…

When I see the passion you practice,

Then I’ll gladly hear the message you preach.

In fact, I’ll listen to anything you have to say.

You’ll have my trust.