Be Careful Challenging Controlling Leaders

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Be Careful Challenging Controlling Leaders

"Trap Door" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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I'm issuing a warning: be careful challenging controlling leaders, including pastors. Even if you're on the leadership team or even on staff. If you challenge the controlling leader, you will be terminated or pressured to quit. Period! This has happened to me several times. Every time I talked to a leader about being too controlling, it went badly for me. You might think it's my own fault. I'll take responsibility, yes. I'm not saying it should always happen, but it did for me. My history: speaking up means getting kicked out. Here's how my mind worked: "I'm on the team. Obviously, we want this team to work and for each member to contribute to the project so that it will succeed. We take constructive criticism from each other in order to make the team better and the project promising! We believe in the democratic distribution of power in order to make this an authentic, functional community. So he will want to hear from me if I think his micromanaging is jeopardizing this." No! Controlling leaders, including pastors, love being in control and refuse to surrender it. That's why they're there! So, if you ever plan on challenging a controlling leader, also plan what you will do if you are terminated. (Join others like you and me who have been terminated or forced to leave because we spoke up! Check out The Lasting Supper.)

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