Have you ever worked for a leader who was more concerned with themself than with their team? We often see the root cause of leadership failure is a lack of putting the organization and other members of the team (family/organization) ahead of personal needs, agendas, or fears. Fear and selfishness drive too many leaders into poor habits. When a leader is primarily focused on their needs it’s difficult to adequately guide others. The poor leader’s chief problem is often that they operate from a scarcity mindset rather than a kingdom mindset. Having a kingdom mindset allows a leader to know their needs are fully met in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Scarcity vs. Abundance

Organizational consultants, physiologist, and counselors all agree that a scarcity mindset is destructive and will coach their clients to adopt an abundance point of view. They are right to coach this way, but far too often the “experts” do not point us to the ultimate source of abundance.

God and His Word are the ultimate source. The Bible Project has an incredible series on generosity that covers a view of scarcity vs. abundance. In the article they point out that “The garden of Eden story shows how humans are deceived by the ultimate lie, the idea that God is holding out on us and hasn’t truly given us what we need to flourish. You could call this a ‘scarcity mindset.’ It focuses on what you don’t have instead of recognizing what has been given to you.”

When people don’t know all that God has given them they are not prepared to function properly.

Yes, a worldview of abundance is important for all of us, but it is particularly important for leaders of teams, families, and organizations. Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, is one of the best books ever written on leadership. Lencioni not only points out the dysfunctions of team leadership, he also gives incredibly helpful solutions for leaders in the back of the book. And while I recommend this book and his solutions to team leaders, I also want to point out that the ultimate key to the solutions Lencioni gives is a worldview of abundance found in God’s Word.

Five Ways God’s Word Overcomes All Leadership Dysfunction

Absence Of Trust

Lencioni writes that “trust is the confidence among team members that their peers intentions are good, and there is no reason to be careful or protective around the group.” Trust allows people to be vulnerable and honest. Lencioni says, “The most important action that a leader must take to encourage the building of trust...is to demonstrate vulnerability first.”

Key Truth: The Bible tells us that demonstrating weakness is a strength as the Apostle Paul writes, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).


Fear of Conflict

Lencioni writes, “All great relationships, the ones that last over time, require productive conflict in order to grow. This is true in marriage, parenthood, friendship, and certainly business.” People need permission to express their views without retribution. King David was able to do this directly to God and so can we. Lencioni says, “One of the most difficult challenges that a leader faces in promoting healthy conflict is the desire to protect members from harm.”

Key Truth: The Bible tells us that God is our protector and that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38).


Lack of Commitment

Lencioni writes, “In the context of team, commitment is a function of two things: clarity and buy-in.” People need  to know what a leader intends and what is expected of them. Lencioni also says, “the leader must be comfortable with the prospect of making a decision that ultimately turns out to be wrong.”

Key Truth: The Bible tells us that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). We can confidently make decisions with the best information available to us and not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).


Avoidance of Accountability

Lencioni writes, “Accountability...refers specifically to the willingness of team members to call their peers on performance or behaviors that might hurt the team.” People must be able to have difficult conversations if they are going to achieve anything significant. Lencioni, speaking of the leader says to “allow the team to serve as the first and primary accountability mechanism.”

Key Truth: The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). This truth easily applies to brothers and sisters on teams.


Intention to Results

Lencioni writes, “The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about something other than the collective goals of the group.” When people care more about themselves than they do the organization it’s difficult to achieve anything important. Lencioni says, “the leader must set the tone for a focus on results.”

Key Truth: Jesus said, “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:12).

Leaders set the tone for their families, teams, and organizations. Faith allows leaders to do their best without fear of failure because King Jesus promises us much more than we could ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Jesus offers a life of abundance (John 10:10) for all who trust in Him. That “key truth” should remove the constant temptation to worry about ourselves (Matthew 6:34) and instead remind us to trust God (John 14:1) for the life that leads to abundance. Leaders who know this will be able to point others toward Christ-centered lives of abundance.

Organizational consultants, physiologist, and counselors all agree that a scarcity mindset is destructive and will coach their clients to adopt an abundance point of view. They are right to coach this way, but far too often the “experts"...
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