I have been in a leadership position of some kind for twelve years now — starting with a bible study I led the second semester of my senior year in college to heading up an international ministry.
In that time, I’ve dealt with my fair share of insecurities.
It’s only natural when you find yourself leading others.
Some insecurities were warranted — I jumped right into leadership without any formal ministry education. Others were downright silly — worried if people 10 years younger than me actually liked me.
Insecurities are bound to follow the man or woman trying to lead, especially if it’s leading something for God. But we can’t let those insecurities affect the people we are leading.
Leaders who allow their insecurities to rule often end up doing more harm than good.
Here are a few ways to tell if you are an insecure leader:
- Insecure leaders are not able to delegate. They have to call the shots, do all the work, and sign off on every little thing within their organization.
- Insecure leaders think it’s all about them. They take any amount of constructive criticism as an attack against them personally.
- Insecure leaders don’t want to work with others. I see this a lot in the church world. Rather than work with organizations that are already “doing it” well, insecure leaders will try to reinvent the wheel. Their church or organization has to do everything. No partnerships.
- Insecure leaders are driven by emotion. One minute they want to take the organization in this direction. The next, it’s that direction. They change their minds based on their mood.
- Insecure leaders never raise up other leaders. Why would they? Those new leaders might outshine them, and that’s the last thing an insecure leader wants.
In contrast, here are a few ways to tell if you are secure in your leadership and yourself:
- Secure leaders trust others. They don’t just delegate tasks, they delegate authority — and trust those under them to do what’s best for the organization.
- Secure leaders know it’s about the mission and vision. They recognize they will never know it all, and are willing to take constructive criticism as a learning opportunity.
- Secure leaders partner with others. They have a kingdom mindset. It’s not just about their church or organization — it’s about reaching others. Even if that means humbling themselves and partnering with someone else who is already doing it.
- Secure leaders are driven by God’s Spirit. They take time in the Word. They pray. They listen to His voice and build a course of action based on that — not just how they are feeling that day.
- Secure leaders are all about raising up other leaders. Their heart isn’t just to see leaders at a lower level than themselves, but to see the leaders they raise up go on to far surpass them.
Question: Where do you find yourself on the spectrum — are you an insecure or secure leader, or a little bit of both?