I am not saying what follows is appropriate or good; I’m just sharing my heart a bit as to what I tend to get frustrated with. These are not in any particular order. As a leader of a team or a participant on a team, you may identify with some, most, or all of these. As usual, I would love some feedback.
I will divide these into Things About Myself (areas I am growing in but not there yet) and Things About Others’ behaviors, attitudes and habits.
1. My Lack Of Sympathetic And Interactive Listening:
I share at my Leaders Who Last seminars that a verse that hit me between the eyes is Proverb 18:13 in The Message. “Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.” I can think of things it would be nice to have on my gravestone, but this isn’t one of them. Here lies Dave Kraft, he was both stupid and rude.
It’s stupid because I cut myself off from learning from others, and rude because I’m not loving and respecting others when I’m not listening. The verse is not saying it’s wrong to answer, but it is wrong before I have listened. God gave me two ears and one mouth, so maybe I should be listening twice as much as I speak. This is hard for a teacher/communicator/seminar leader.
2. My Lack Of Patience With Perceived Slow Thinking Or Slow Moving People:
I want to grow in appreciating and respecting people who are different than I am or whom I perceive are slower than I am. I know it’s prideful and I take it to the Lord every time it raises its ugly head.
3. My Lack Of Compassion For Hurting, Or Different, People:
I tend not to process things at a feeling level, but more with my brain. It often comes across as not caring or being compassionate with those in my world. One of my recent memory verses, 2 Corinthians 6:6 in the NLT, is helping me, “We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love and the power of the Holy Spirit." I desire all of these things, especially patience, kindness and sincere love and realize that it is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. People Claiming They Don’t Have The Time And Letting The Urgent Trump The Important:
I hear this all the time. I would love to do XYZ, but I don’t have the time. I have learned that it is never a time issue, but always a values/priority issue. It especially frustrates me when leaders say I know I should spend quality time with the Lord, but I just don’t have the time. And then they add, “I think God understands.” I know He understands, but that doesn’t mean He likes it or approves. Honestly, people make time for what they think is important.
5. People Saying We Can’t Instead Of Saying We Can:
We serve a God who is all-powerful and it frustrates me when a person always looks at an opportunity and says we can’t do it. Caleb and Joshua were the we-can-do-this people, whereas the other ten were the we-can’t-do-this people. The rest, as they say, is history. Forty years in the desert thanks to the we-can’t do-this types.
6. Leaders Who Are Dominated By Fear Of What Others May Think:
Those who cave to the opinions of others and are, therefore, unwilling to make the tough or unpopular decisions. As leaders, we should be led by faith in the character and promises of God, and not be dominated by the fear of what others may think or say. Matthew 22:16 in The Message is very insightful on this; “Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don’t pander to your students.”
7. Groups, Organizations And Churches That Are Over-Managed And Under-Led:
In many cases they have no vision, but what they do have in spades are rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures. These are in the hands of committees that have the last say over what happens and what doesn’t happen. I have seen staff teams who are in bondage and held hostage by such committees. I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where God gave a vision to a committee, nor is there a statue in any park in the country built to honor a committee. If a park in your city has one, please let me know so I can stand corrected.
8. People Not Responding In A Reasonable Amount Of Time To Emails Or Requests:
Now I’m getting personal. It really frustrates me when people take forever to respond to a simple request for information that is needed to move the ball down the field. It tends to reinforce my belief that most people are overwhelmed and over-committed, and maybe, also, highly disorganized. Some are buried under a pile of 150 emails that await a response from them. I would like to suggest something I will call calendar integrity: never waiting more than 48 hours to respond to an email or phone call from someone in your chain of command or on your team. Do I hear an Amen?