Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Leadership and the Paranoia Syndrome

"O Lord, do not be far from me." Ps. 35: 22

In Psalm 35 David the king speaks.  Anyone in leadership can easily relate to this psalm.  How do you really know if those you work with are with you?  Sometimes it is clear when others are against you and that makes it easy to handle that situation.  Other times however, there are great uncertainties, especially when persons speak in ambiguous language.  Much of your fear and suspicion is based on a hunch.  In other words, we become paranoid.

Leadership often pulls one into an involuntary political pickle that produces "enemies" for a number of reasons:
1.  The persons you lead have a clear preference for another individual
2.  The persons you lead are accustomed to relating to you on a different level and find it difficult to make the switch
3.  Individuals are wary of impending changes that may throw them into disequilibrium
4.  Then sometimes there is absolutely nothing wrong, but because you hear how they would have spoken of others in leadership, (or just whom they've had to deal with), you know you're not perfect, so you feel it's reasonable to assume that they speak about you too.  Yes... paranoia!

But how do you treat with this situation?  Do you pray this prayer literally, or do you simply pray that if there are any plots for your demise that they be compromised?  Do you also pray that you don't become your own "greatest enemy?"  Here are some recommendations for handling such situations:

1.  Do not be defensive and be responding to what you "see" in individuals, just be yourself; be a Christian.
2.  Love and pray with (where possible) and for your team members
3.  Do your job without fear or favour, but be reasonable
4.  As a good steward, maintain proper records; that will work as your defense at times
5.  Always follow the protocols - this makes for greater safety
6.  Remember, it's really not about you and your position; it's about God and His agenda; let Him lead
7.   So then, "Except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman waketh but in vain," (Ps. 127: 1) - do your best, and trust God to do the rest.  And don't be paranoid.

This reading is based on Psalm 35, in sequence with the Revived by His Word initiative.  To read and/or listen to Psalm 35 and to read other related blogs, please click here.