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If I’m Your Leader…It’s Your Business…

“This is probably none of my business, but…”

Do you ever hear that as a leader?

Recently one of our staff had a question for me. He had observed that Cheryl and I sold our house and bought a condo downtown. He wondered if there was some hidden motive; like I was preparing to travel more, or perhaps become a full-time consultant and maybe even leave my role as pastor. (Evidently he doesn’t read my blog. I explained the move HERE 🙂 )

So, he bridged the conversation by stating, “This is probably none of my business, but can I ask you a question?”

It could have been other issues…

  • You seem distracted…is something wrong?
  • You look tired…are you feeling well?
  • I saw you without Cheryl…are you guys okay?
  • We haven’t spoken lately…are you mad at me?
  • I don’t understand that decision you made…what were you thinking?

Chances are…if you are a leader…you’ve had people think things like this before…

Some will ask…some may not…

If they do, they may start with, “I know this is none of my business, but…”

Here’s my take on that…

I don’t get upset when someone asks me a personal question…

In fact, I welcome them…

Why?

If I’m your leader…it’s your business…

Some things may not be the average church member’s business…

Or a reader of this blog 🙂

But if you look to me for leadership…

Then it’s your business…

Why?

Because I believe strongly that the health of the leader affects the health of the team… ***

I also think that trust in a leader is paramount to the health of the organization…

If the leader wants respect, he or she needs to be clearly understood…

So…

If I’m your leader…it’s your business…

Feel free to disagree with me, but do you think the health of someone leading you is your personal business?

***Read THIS POST and THIS POST for a further explanation of this principle.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Mark says:

    I find by experience that those who would begin a question with “This may be non of my business” are already showing they are trying to respect your privacy. Obviously they have struggled with whether to ask or not, and feel that they must, though not confident they should, hence the preface to the question. Those who are critics or just plain nosy don’t usually preface their questions with that statement. At least that is my experience. In fact as a Pastor I have used the same preface when approaching a church member with what may be a sensitive question. Great post Ron!

  • daredub
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for modeling openness and honesty. Nothing to hide is one thing, but being willing to engage with others and address their concerns with grace is another. Thanks for showing both.

  • Steve says:

    We all need to be respectfully of someone's private times, leading does not have to be an open book test, even Christ required His private prayer time with the Father. I look at Steve Jobs from Apple as he needed a leave, that company rises and fall with him, but I am sure his inner circle was informed.

  • That's a potentially hazardous path to navigate. On one hand, as pastors we want to—we HAVE to—model an openness of living that is Christ-like and vulnerable and invites people to all manner and levels of interaction.

    But are people entitled to criticize and comment on every little thing? The member of the congregation who thinks the pastor is overpaid because s/he just bought a new car when the 10-year-old beast died; the pastor who lives in a manse and has to hear people comment how they spend their personal time at home…

    I'm not saying the questions aren't opportunities for Christian community and understanding, but cautioning against saying that any question of a leader is an acceptable question…

    • ronedmondson says:

      Kyle, not trying to be sarcastic at all, but did you read the entire post? I excluded church members and blog readers. There may be other groups I'd exclude. I'm referring to people you directly lead, people on your team, the ones you'd consider part of your extended family if it's a healthy team. A leader spends a great part of his or her life with this group and needs to be known to be respected.

  • matreames says:

    This is a great article… I recently had a pastor come out and say, "Some of you have been concerned or questioning the way the church is going. I want to assure you I am seeking the Lord for direction, but let me ask you this, 'Have you ever fasted for this church? for its leadership?' if you are in the church its your business to support your leaders, and praying and fasting for us is one great way to do this."

    This really struck me. We often worry about our leaders and what they are doing, and are quick to bash them if we do not like what they do, but how often do we pray and fast for them? Excellent points Ron.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Wow, that's a tough, challenging, but good word from that pastor.

      • matreames says:

        Agreed, but it was a challenge I am glad I have accepted. As I have fasted and prayed for them I have found my own attitude changing and I am not as quick to question or hold mistrust. It has been a brilliant eye opener.

  • dannyjbixby says:

    Totally agree…but sometimes hard to implement. We do love our privacy.

  • Most definitely Ron. The old saying, "There goes the neighborhood" comes to mind. As the leader goes, so goes the neighborhood.

  • Chris says:

    I think you are spot on Ron. This goes way beyond the simply fact of what you struggle with. We all sin and struggle and I think a lot of times people "cop out" with that answer.

    Leaders are not followed by force. If that's the case, then they are not leaders, they are appointed managers. Leaders are followed because people WANT to follow them. They create that culture that allows other people to stretch and grow.

    If your life is unhealthy, then you are not someone I want to follow. You may bring a lot to the table, but what do you offer other people and you offer yourself nothing?

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