5 Differences Between a Critical Mind and a Critical Spirit

There is a massive difference between a critical mind and a critical spirit. The former builds up; the latter tears down. Having a critical mind is a terrific thing. It results in healthy self-reflection, learning, and evaluating the why beneath everything one does. Having a critical spirit is a terrible thing. It results in pushing […]

3 Postures Leaders Don’t Need on Their Leadership Teams

Wise leaders long for their teams to be filled with people who assume the posture and attitude of servant, steward, equipper, and executor. As a result, the whole team benefits and the whole organization/ministry is healthier. But what postures do leaders not want and not need on their teams? Surely there are a plethora of […]

The Untruth of “There Is Truth in Every Criticism”

You have likely heard the cliché, “there is a grain of truth in every criticism.” It is usually offered to leaders as an encouragement to look for some truth in every criticism they face, to carefully evaluate themselves in the light of what someone has said about them, a decision they have made, or an […]

Should You Share Criticism You Receive With Your Spouse?

I was in a meeting last week with a group of senior pastors, and we were asked to force rank the pain of criticism by groups of people. Whose criticism hurts the most? There was some discussion about the force ranking, but we essentially landed on this order (the top being the most painful and […]

Armchair Quarterback and Armchair Leaders

My little brother lived in Chicago for a few years, and Kaye and I loved to visit and still enjoy trips to Chicago. We went there for my 40th birthday, just the two of us. It is a great city, and a great sport’s town with deeply committed fans. But Chicago fans can notoriously be […]

3 Things You Are Really Saying When You Bash Your Predecessor

If leadership is primarily about change, transformation, and the future, as many have advocated, then leaders are always change-oriented. And change always entails creating some dissatisfaction with the status quo. But wisely and skillfully creating dissatisfaction with the status quo is very different than subtly or overtly trashing and bashing the leaders who led before […]

4 Problems with the Squeaky Wheel Approach to Leadership

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease” is an expression used to describe the reality that the most noticeable problem often gets the most focus. It can also be used to describe the loudest person receiving the most attention. It is a common expression because it is often how people live and lead. Leaders, problem solvers […]

3 Reasons Why Ministry Leaders Choose to Be Isolated

It is not uncommon for ministry leaders to preach on community while living in isolation. While we can preach on community for everyone else, ministry leaders are often tempted to live in isolation. Why do ministry leaders often choose isolation? What pulls them away from community and away from being vulnerable with others? While there […]

Five Necessary Character Traits for Handling Criticism Well

Elbert Hubbard quipped, “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Because leaders cannot afford to do nothing or say nothing, being criticized comes with the territory of being a leader. In leadership, affirmation today does not mean affirmation tomorrow. In many ways leaders face the same volatility as coaches who can, within […]

Five Ways to Critique Without Crushing

As a leader, you owe it to those you lead to offer them feedback. Without feedback, development is hampered, as people don’t know what actions to repeat and what actions to tweak. Giving encouragement and accolades is not something leaders dread, but offering feedback that could be perceived as critical is something many leaders struggle […]