The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Leaders

From Dave Kraft’s Leaders Who Last (Re: Lit Books), here’s his list:

  1. They spend too much time managing and not enough time leading.
  2. They spend too much time counseling the hurting people and not enough time developing the people with potential.
  3. They spend too much time putting out fires and not enough time lighting fires.
  4. They spend too much time doing and not enough time planning.
  5. They spend too much time teaching the crowd and not enough time training the core.
  6. They spend too much time doing it themselves and not enough time doing it through others.
  7. They make too many decisions based on organizational politics and too few decisions based on biblical principles.

He then adds:

Notice in particular numbers 2, 5, and 6, which have to do with the kinds of people you spend time with. I say it again: the people you spend the majority of your time with can and will determine whether you are an effective or ineffective leader.

The fact is that many people in leadership roles gravitate toward hurting, draining, time-=consuming people because they have a need to be needed. They want to help people, to be there for people. If a leader has strong mercy gifts, leading becomes more difficult. Simply put, if you need people, you can’t lead people. There is an inability or lack of desire to make the tough calls, speak the truth, or do the hard things. Motivated by a fear of disappointing people, this inability will seriously hamper and work against your ability to lead.

  • Dickie Mint

    Matt, I can see what he’s trying to say but I’m just not sure it squares with the example of Jesus. He seems to pose a false dichotomy in suggesting that leaders can be drawn to needy people because they need to be needed – sure, that’s possible but it’s not the only reason they’re drawn to them. Jesus engaged scores of needy people but not out of a sense of personal need.

    Jesus spent quality time with the 12, but he also spent time with those considered worthless by others – for example, his blessing of children. They had no resources, no power, no influence – yet he rebuked the disciples for telling the parents not to bring them. In the disciples’ minds that wasn’t the way to build a kingdom – but that depends on what sort of kingdom you’re interested in building.

    I know he’s speaking about who leaders spend the majority of their time with what he terms ‘time-consuming people’ but my fear is that few people who read his words will work with that nuance; I think they will simply take the general tone of his comments and draw the conclusion that leaders ought not to spend quality time with the needy. And that would be a shame.

  • J. Gary Ellison

    Points 2, 5 and 6 (that you bring out) are also part of the thesis of The Trellis and the Vine, an excellent book on pastoring by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.

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  • Chad Richard Bresson

    I agree with Dickie. I’m not convinced that pulling leadership principles from a corporate model as if there is one-to-one correlation with the pastorate is a good thing. Adoption of these must be qualified by allowing for pursuit of the one in lieu of the 99. Kraft may think #2 is characteristic of an ineffective leader. Adopted too stringently, what may make for a great leader (in Kraft’s model) may make for a poor pastor. And at that point I have to ask… “effective” by whose standards?

  • A. Amos Love

    Hmmm? Leaders Who Last?

    The Book cover says – Only 30% of leaders last.
    Sounds like a dangerous position to assume. Yes?

    Just wondering how you reconcile
    the use of the word “leader”
    With what Jesus said in Mt 23:10.

    The word “leader” seems like a “high place.” Yes?

    Jesus always took and recommended
    the “low place.” Yes?

    Jesus humbled Himself,
    made himself of no reputation
    and took on the form of a servant.
    Php 2:7

    Jesus in Mat 23:10
    told “His disciples”
    “NOT” to call themselves master/“leaders”
    for you have one master/”leader” the Christ.

    King James Version –
    Neither be ye called masters:
    for one is your Master, even Christ.

    The Interlinear Bible –
    Nor be called leaders,
    for one is your leader the Christ.

    Phillips Modern English –
    you must not let people call you leaders,
    you have only one leader, Christ.

    Today’s English Version –
    nor should you be called leader.
    your one and only leader is the Messiah.

    The Amplified-
    you must not be called masters ( leaders )
    for you have one master ( leader ) the Christ.

    Jesus told “His disciples” not to be called “leaders” and none did.

    Ro 1:1
    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…
    Php 1:1
    Paul and Timotheus,
    the servants of Jesus Christ…
    Col 4:12
    Epaphras, who is one of you, servant of Christ…
    Tit 1:1
    Paul, a servant of God…
    Jas 1:1
    James, a servant of God…
    2Pe 1:1
    Simon Peter, a servant…

    His disciples “all”
    called themselves “servants.”
    None called themselves “leaders.” None? None.
    None called themselves “servant-leader.” None.

    Why are we trying to train
    “Leaders for the ekklesia of God?”
    Why aren’t we training
    “Servants of Christ” like Jesus did?

    Isn’t “Servanthood” inclusive?
    Everyone can be a “Servant of Christ.”

    Isn’t “Leadership” exclusive?
    Only available to “A special few.”

    If Jesus instructed “His disciples” NOT
    to call themselves “leaders,”
    and someone calls them self a “leader,”
    or thinks they are a “leader;”

    Are they a “disciple of Christ?”

    And other sheep I have,
    which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring,
    and they shall hear “my voice;”
    and there shall be “one” fold,
    and “one” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold -One Shepherd -One Voice.
    If Not Now, When?

    Be blessed and be a blessing.

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