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Recently while watching children on a playground I was struck by comments like:

“I am the leader; you have to do what I say!”

“No! You are supposed to follow me.”

“That is mine.”

I want to go first!”

“Hey everybody, listen to ME!”

You would expect to hear comments like this from immature children. Promoting Number One in a child’s world comes naturally and parents often have to remind them they are not the “center of the universe.”

Unfortunately, some adults fail to leave this mindset on the playground with other childlike tendencies. This particularly presents a problem if those adults occupy leadership roles.

ME-centered” leaders tend to share the following traits.

Ten Common Traits of “ME” Leadership:

  1. Self-promotion
  2. Inconsistent policies or decisions
  3.  Refusal to admit personal failure
  4. Using guilt as a tool
  5. Lack of integrity or trust
  6. Living/operating by a double standard
  7. Marginalizing “perceived” threats
  8. Condescending dealings with employees
  9. Prioritizing personal desires ahead of the team
  10. Leadership influence limited to positional authority

 Five Biblical Patterns for Responding to “ME” Leadership:

  1. The Principle of Promotion – Psalms 75:6-7 (Realize God does promote and allow some people occupy leadership roles.)
  2. The Principle of Position – Mark 12:17 (Give freely to superiors what is due them by virtue of their position.)
  3. The Principle of Obedience – Hebrews 13:17 (Obey leaders and allow God to call them into account.)
  4. The Principle of Authority – Romans 13:1 (Acknowledge and accept God’s role in authority.
  5. The Principle of Testimony – 1 Peter 2: 13-15 (Embrace the opportunity to glorify God by your Biblical response.)

BTW . . . it is easier to sit in judgment, react, rebel and criticize your authorities than it is to respond biblically. It can be incredibly freeing to cease fighting your authorities and put that same energy into growing your character and personal leadership abilities.

What are some of the things you have learned by responding rather than reacting to authority?

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  1. Really great post!!!! Both the traits and responses are great.

    • It is easier to focus on the traits rather than the responses although that is where we should truly focus! Mike

  2. Enjoyed this post! It is easier to react then to respond, loved the biblical principles for responding….even though it’s natural and easier to complain about those me centered traits.

    • You are right on target! It is always a challenge to do the respond rather than react. Thanks for taking the time to write. Mike

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