Skip to main content

4 Things Visionary Leaders Hate to Hear

By April 3, 2024Leadership

There are some things visionary leaders hate to hear. They make us cringe. 

Mostly because they distract the team from the vision and from being healthy attempting to achieve it.

Visionary leaders hate to hear:

“We’ve never done it that way before.” 

Well, of course you haven’t. See, here’s there thing about leadership. Leaders take you somewhere new – somewhere you haven’t been before. That’s in the definition of what we do. 

Granted, there are times we need to rest, slow down the pace, and celebrate current wins. All that is part of a healthy team, as well. But if we want to keep growing we have to keep changing. And that means we are going to continually being doing things in ways we never have previously. 

“That’s not in my job description.” 

I have a practice of allowing people to help write their job description. I want the organization to build positions around our people – not the other way around. But we have an overall vision to complete. And sometimes it requires things of people that we forgot to add to a piece of paper. 

This is not an excuse to abuse people – and sometimes we may need to change what’s on the piece of paper if it continues to differ from what the person is doing. But on a team the lines should be blurry at times as we all pitch in to get done what needs doing. 

“That won’t work!” 

Especially when it’s the standard response to every new idea. Negativity destroys a team and crushes morale.

Yes, some ideas need to be challenged. And critical thinking is an important part of any organization’s progress. We should strive to avoid painful mistakes and learn from our experiences. But practically every success I’ve ever been a part of suffered through a lot of bad ideas before it was discovered. 

“I can’t/won’t work with them again.” 

Conflict develops on every healthy team. Relationships can be strained during especially stressful seasons. We bring different work styles and personalities to our jobs. All that is part of being in any group of people. 

But we must learn to get along with people who don’t think like us. We must learn to forgive one another – extend grace to each other – and give second chances. That’s all part of making an organization healthy – and stronger. 

Of course, there are some people that simply can’t learn to work well with others. And when that’s discovered it’s the job of leadership to do something about it. But let’s work hard not to be a middle school instead of a healthy team. 

There’s 4 – anyone have a 5th to add to my list?

Check out my leadership podcast where we discuss issues of leadership in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

Related Posts

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

More posts by Ron Edmondson

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jim Pemberton says:

    A 5th might occur to me later, but as I read this a 1A immediately jumped to mine: "That's the way we've always done it."

    There may be a perfectly good reason for having done it the same way. Too often those reasons have been forgotten. Too often those reasons aren't relevant any longer. I heard a story about a woman who always cut the end off the bone before cooking a roas on the stove top. She was asked why she always cut the end of the bone off. She replied that that's they way she's always done it and that her mother taught her to do it. Curious as to why the end of bone needed to be cut off, she asked her elderly mother who told her, "That's because it wouldn't fit into my pot." The younger woman had been cutting the end of the bone off all her life and didn't need to because she didn't have her mother's smaller pot.

    It's always good to document and periodically review processes. It makes change so much easier to plan, communicate, and implement.