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I would suspect we have all had an instance of working for or alongside a leader who didn’t lead well. Given no one is perfect, I suspect it happens more often than not. So, what is one to do when your leader doesn’t lead well? Here are a few options:

  • Create an exit strategy
  • Respond in-kind and don’t follow well (AKA disengage)
  • Grin and bear it
  • Complain to others
  • Plot how to “bring them down”

Truth be told, I’ve tried them all. And guess what, none of them worked well. In fact, they all made me feel worse about the situation. I have come to understand that the reason all these options did not work was because of ME! My selfishness, my pride, my focus, my demands, etc. My focus centered on my comfort and my desires rather than what my Heavenly Father wanted for me and from me.

God doesn’t guarantee that we will work for a leader who will lead well. Consider the Kings of Israel and Judah in 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Every King of Israel from Jeroboam I (1Kings 12-14) through Hoshea (2 Kings 15-17) was a bad king by doing “evil in the eyes of the Lord.” The Kings of Israel, Rehoboam (1 Kings 11-14) to Zedekiah (2 Kings 24-25), were better but not perfect with 12 out of 20 kings doing “evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

Consider, others in the Bible who worked for leaders who fell short of leading well. Daniel worked for the Babylonian leader, Nebuchadnezzar. Joseph worked for Egyptian leader, Potiphar. David worked for King Saul. Each of these leaders displayed questionable character traits and could be considered poor leaders.

Yet Daniel, Joseph, and David did not let their leaders deter them from following God wholeheartedly. Seeking God to lead and guide them in the midst of working for a poor leader. They understood that God’s plan was greater than their own and he had a purpose in them serving their leader.

Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV) tells us, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

This verse suggests that our welfare depends on our prayers for our surroundings, including our leaders. Prayer allows us to seek our Heavenly Father and align with His will for our lives. Prayer puts us in our rightful place … becoming part of God’s story and not asking God to be part of our story. So, what is one to do when your leader doesn’t lead well? Simply pray for him or her while seeking God’s plan rather than your own.

 

Susan Rozzi is the owner of Rozzi and Associates. She started her organizational development and leadership consulting business because she has a passion for unleashing the potential for greatness in good leaders. She focuses her efforts in emotional intelligence insight, supporting transitions into leadership, and team effectiveness and engagement.
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