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Navigating Insecurities in Leadership: A God Based Perspective.


Here’s the thing about insecurities -we all have or have had them. They stem from childhood trauma, workplace interactions, family views, comparison to others, and a number of other things.  Yet, some of us are able to hold healthy relationships and live fulfilled lives knowing what makes/made us insecure while others are not.


Being Insecure is related to a lack of confidence or being assured in a specific area and is also related to uncertainty and anxiousness. All of which stem from inner thoughts and the framework in which a person views the public, their environments, their associates, and themselves.


As followers of Christ, we have to meet people where they are in their healing. This means navigating the insecurities that God is working them out of. This takes great strength from those  in leadership. Not only does it press one to be a better, more understanding leader, but it allows God to teach us how to help someone else heal. I’ve noticed, more recently than ever, the complaining spirit which has tried to overtake the world and even greater God’s children. This spirit has sought to warp the minds of people into responding to compliments with a negative viewpoint. I’ll use this as an example, have you ever given someone a compliment and their immediate response is “You trying to be funny?”. This is a trauma-based response centered on a prior interaction with someone who meant to belittle them. Your response to this can make or break your working relationship and as a leader (or team member) you must reassure them that your compliment, or gratitude, for their work was in fact a compliment -not a dig.


It can feel exhausting to the flesh to have to validate someone. Similarly, when your healed it can be triggering to think that your kindness was received as a jab. However, this is where we have the opportunity to grow together in the spirit.

 

Romans 7:6 (NLT) reads, “But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the spirit.”

 

Let’s take this passage and apply it to leadership. In fact, we will replace the word "law" here with insecurity.

 

But now we have been released from insecurity, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the feelings of insecurity, but in the new way of living in the spirit.


You can use this scripture for anything that maybe trying to attack or attach itself to you. For example, the name of an addiction, past trauma, prior partner, job, or demonic spirit. Remind yourself that you have been released from (whatever it is) through the power of God as stated in Romans 7:6.

 

When we live by the spirit, dwell in the spirit, and view the world through the lens of the spirit it allows us to remove our old way of thinking related to our flesh and look at every interaction as a way to grow, as forwarded by Heaven. Moreover, this passage reminds us that through the death of our flesh we are now free to serve God. Leadership affords us the opportunity to serve at a larger capacity. Thus, if you’ve ever felt like you don’t “have” to deal with your team members behavior you are opposing the very word of God.

 

A true leader will not put themselves before or above the team, they will place themselves with the team and work as a mediator between the team and all other departments. Likewise, good leaders create environments which create more good leaders. I’ve heard it said that “Good leaders don’t want to lead because of the amount of work they know has to be done. While bad leaders love to lead because they want to control everyone.”


As a man of God, when I assess the ministry of Jesus, I love his leadership style. Jesus had a team of what would be considered misfits by the public. Yet, unlike worldly leaders he didn’t lead with an iron fist or set of dominating demands. Jesus loved his team; he ate with them, spent time with them, cried with them, prayed with them, encouraged them, and understood them. He respected each member for what they could do and held them to that capacity. In doing this he set the standard for how they should treat each other. We know that each of the disciples had their own insecurities and short comings, but Jesus set an atmosphere for their strengths to overshadow the areas in which they were weak. In short, Jesus loved and lead them through their “stuff”.

 

 

How is this possible? The following are of great significance when addressing Insecurities within one’s self and others:

 

1.     Know who you are and know who they are.

-       The best leaders are understanding and lead from that point of view. Likewise, the best team members follow that same truth. Before you can understand others, you have to understand yourself. When your insecurities cause people to question your judgement no one will want to work with or under you. All good leader’s are aware that the teams work is a direct reflection of the environment the leader creates. Thus, if you are overbearing, judgmental, rooted in a lack of confidentiality, and argumentative your team may get the work done but it won’t be quality and more importantly no one will stay at your company long.

 

2.     Implement strategies to combat negative thought processes which stem from assumptions.

-       A negative thought process will manifest within the team as lack of communication, avoidance, and disunity. When an individual’s behavior causes the team to not want to communicate it will slow production or halt it completely. This has occurred because the leader or a team member has become negative in their thoughts as it pertains to the team, a particular team member, or the current project. When this happens its important to have face to face meetings (via web or in person) so the team can relearn one another. Most negative thoughts in teams come from perceptions of others from mass emails, text messages, and miscommunications. We tend to read these things in an internal voice which may not always be positive. So, when you can hear someone say something as opposed to reading it and making an assumption about their tone, it allows the team to understand one another.

 

3.     Address the “Bad Apple”.

-       Here’s a hard fact, you can’t lead people without knowing how to deal with blatant negativity, argumentative natures, and unpleasant personality types. This is true in both team and leadership roles. I use the term “Bad Apple” lightly because some people aren’t purposely being a bad apple, they just haven’t matured enough (or healed enough) to understand that they can actually be happy in life. However, you do not want their viewpoint to affect the other members of the team. Thus, as Jesus set the tone for his team, you must do the same. No one on the team should speak down to another, nor should it be acceptable to be aggressive, petty, or underhanded when speaking to one another. If and when you see this type of behavior coming from someone address it immediately -the same day. A gentle reminder to the individual that “this is not the behavior here” is acceptable. Work, church, and community spaces should not be conduits forwarding traumatic experiences.


We can learn much from Jesus’s ministry when we assess it through the lens of leadership. However, we would need longer than a post on this forum to understand it in depth. Yet, at it’s simplest form we can come to this fact, Jesus lead by being lead by God. Thus, similar to Jesus in order for us to lead, we have to be lead and through our leading we should serve. When insecurity arises, within yourself or your team, your first response should be consulting God on how to move forward. Take the pressure of leadership off of you and place the pressure on Heaven to guide you. For this is the will of God.

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