Idioms That Leaders Should Never Say

Over the nearly 25 years that I have been a church leader I have heard many statements made by many well-intentioned individuals that have impaired their leadership.  To be honest, I have probably made some of these idiotic idioms more often than I would admit.  As a young leader, I made these statements very often.  As a growing leader, I have minimized the usage, but I still have a long way to go.

Well, here’s my list:

#1 – WE CAN’T DO THAT
This one frustrates me so much.  There are some that magnify their abilities over God’s.  Let me be clear: If God tells you to do something that you cannot do it is so He alone can get the credit.

#2 – IT WOULD NEVER WORK
I have sat in think tank and have heard this declaration way too much.  Creative ideas should not just be heard, but attempted too.

#3 – OTHERS TRIED THAT BEFORE
Just because other people have tried things that have failed does not mean you should not try it. It may not have been for them or that time.  Give it a shot.

#4 – WE ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Too many leaders view themselves as growing and emerging.  This can often put a leader in a place where they feel like they never arrive and question themselves and their team all the time.

#5 – WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY
Money is the least of our concerns.  God owns everything.  A lack of resources forces creativity.  Find a way to do it with less budget and resources.

#6 – IT’S NOT MY FAULT
Leaders must always take the blame and share the success.  The moment it turns in the other direction the team will eventually implode.  Every leader must “own” their part in every decision.

#7 – I’LL DO IT MYSELF
Leaders who go “at it alone” will end up alone.  Take someone with you.  You may not need their help but they need your leadership.  Lead them by example.

#8 – THAT’S NOT MY PROBLEM
I have had this statement made to me before.  It is always our problem.  When we are in any level of leadership we should make it our problem.  Top level leaders are looking for problem-solvers not problem-avoiders.

#9 – THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO
There is always something we can do to help, partner, grow or increase our ministry.  Excuses never solve any problems.  Leaders have a hard time with people who “slack” off on doing something.

#10 – FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
Failure should not be the only option, but it has to be an option. If you are not failing at something you are probably not attempting anything new. Failure is the womb of success. It is a vital part of leadership.

Which of these idioms have you said?  Which are you still saying?  How often do you make these statements?  Take some time.  Think it through.  Pray about it. Ask God for grace.  Recognize that language matters!

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