I am going to do a series of posts on fails I have made in leadership over the years. By the way, this will NOT be an exhaustive list by any means. In fact, I am sure it will not even qualify as comprehensive. These may also be interrupted for other random posts (just a warning).
FAIL #1 – SAYING TOO MUCH!
Ever get the loose tongue syndrome? I have.
This happens when we want to feel important so we start stating what we know, think we know, or even make up on the spot. It also happens in moments of competition when we are trying to one up someone else. Another scenario for this is when we have a great idea that is not fully developed or ready to go and we start telling everyone, and it’s just not time. There are other instances of this happening in the lives of leaders where for what ever reason he/she just says more than should or needs to be said at the time. Whatever the momentary reason is, it usually comes down to insecurity and/or immaturity.
Many, if not most, leadership issues and fails stem from insecurity. When a person is not secure in who they are, it causes all kinds of things to start tilting out of alignment in their lives. Saying too much is a defense mechanism of insecurity. It is simple overcompensation.
Saying too much can also be out of immaturity. Even a secure leader must learn and develop. During the process of growing, everyone makes mistakes as they mature. Immaturity has a way of getting us to say more than we should.
As leaders, we need to learn what to say when and even how much to say. There can be great value in silence. There is also great value in only sharing a portion of things at times. This is especially true in vision. The leaders should be seeing a few, or several, steps ahead of the rest of those around him/her. However, followers are often not ready to see the same thing. Many times, they just need to see the next step. Reveal too much and the costs can get steep. Leaders who always share everything they know (or think they know) risk loosing credibility, overwhelming followers, speaking out of time, damaging people, stunting growth, hindering God’s plans, and more. The cost is high.
The leader who gains the wisdom of knowing how much and when to speak will accomplish so much more than the one who just spouts off continually. Not to mention, it is hard to learn and grow when you are dominating every conversation and context.
What are some things you have learned about when and how much to speak?