One of the greatest gifts staff can receive is a secure leader. Unfortunately, in the ministry world there are a great number of insecure leaders. This results in behaviors that can seriously impact those who work for them.
Here are some of the signs of an insecure leader:
-Defensiveness when someone disagrees with them
-A need to be right
-A need to assert their "authority"
-Inability to empower others
-A need to control others
-A need to manage their reputation
-Inability to engage in candid dialogue
-Lack of personal transparency
-An unhealthy need to be liked
-A tendency to marginalize those who they perceive to be threats to them
-Often threatened by those around them who are more competent than they are
-An inability to chart a consistent course
All of these descriptors have a negative impact on those who work for insecure leaders. Ironically, insecurity is often hidden by an exaggerated sense of authority and leadership - a facade that hides an insecurity in both areas.
Personal security starts with being OK with who God made me to be - both my strengths and weaknesses. It results in an attitude that says, "I have nothing to prove and nothing to lose." If that is true, I don't have to pretend I am something I am not, I don't need to be right and I value the contributions of others as much as I do mine. It also means that I don't need to compete with others and don't compare myself with others.
Security is rooted in an understanding that God fashioned me as He chose, is happy with how He made me. Insecurity is rooted in trying to prove to God and others that we have value. Thus insecurity is a theological issue in our lives. It comes out of an incomplete understanding of God and His view of us. Until we resolve this incomplete understanding we will suffer from the pain of insecurity and the need to prove ourselves to God and others.
For those leaders who struggle from insecurity, and there are many, it is critical that they embark on a journey of personal growth. Most can overcome this deficit and lead from a healthier place. For those who do not, the implications for their leadership are many, and negative. Their behaviors create disempowerment and dishealth for their staff and those around them. If you work for an insecure leader you know exactly what I mean.