7 Reasons People Are Not Leading Who Could Be

We need leaders. When Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…” — I’m convinced — some of those workers should be leaders of other workers. Throughout the Scriptures God used men and women to lead others to accomplish great things — all to His glory.

But, I’m equally convinced, that just as their are not enough people working who should be working — some of the workers who should be leading are not leading.


Here are 7 reasons people are not leading who could be:

They weren’t ever willing to face their fears. Fear failure, fear of rejection, and the fear of the unknown are very real fears. But, fear is an emotion — not necessarily based on truth. Faith is a substance based on a certain — though unseen — reality.

They never had the self-confidence to allow people to follow. I know so many people who sit on the sidelines — even though people believe in them — but they just don’t believe in themselves.

They felt it was self-serving to step into the role of leadership. One of my new favorite sayings (I wrote about it recently) is “Don’t trip over your own humility by refusing to do the right thing.” Yes, leaders can be in the center of attention, and some people are too “humble” to step into that role, but in the meantime, we are missing your leadership.

They waited for someone else to do it. They had a call — or, at least, they knew what needed to be done, and they could have taken the initiative and made it work — but they never did — hoping, waiting for someone else to make the move.

They tried once — it didn’t work — and they gave up too soon. Failure is a part of leadership. Certainly its a part of maturing as a leader. If you give up after the first try you miss out on the best of leadership.

They couldn’t find their place — and didn’t make one. Find something to lead! The world is full of problems. Choose one you are passionate about and start leading. We need you!

They thought they didn’t know how to lead. I’ve been a student of leadership for over 20 years — in leadership positions for over 30 years — and you know my answer to that one? Who does know how to lead? Sure, there are skills to be acquired, leadership is an art to be shaped, but leadership is new every morning, because there world is ever changing. Leadership involves people. When we can completely figure them out — we can completely figure out leadership. Until then – Watch, listen, read, learn, ask questions. Leaders are all around you. You can learn some skills of leadership if you are teachable. The best leaders are still learning how to lead.

Are any of these the reason you’re not currently leading — but you know you should be?

What are you going to do about it?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • @metacg01 says:

    Great post! Most (if I were honest all) of your points I have and sometimes still struggle to overcome. Often potential leaders are deceived into thinking they MUST have all the answers. Jim Collins refers to this false paradigm of leadership as "Time Tellers" in his book Built to Last (For those who are not familiar with the book you should check it out). He goes on to describe great leaders as "Clock Builders". Potential leaders would be much less hesitate to exercise leadership if they were to view leadership as the process of building something great and enduring.

  • Keith says:

    8. You never asked them.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Yes. That's a good one. This post is written to the person not leading, not to the ones doing recruiting, but if you read any of my posts on developing or recruiting new leaders I always say “The best leaders have to be recruited”.Speaking in this case more about the person sitting on the sideline — they may even have been asked — but they've not stepped forward.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

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