Good vs. Evil

December 31st, 2012 Comments

Come TogetherWhen you invite people to walk with you, what path are you asking them to journey? Are you a leader, a follower, or a collaborator? If you’re a follower, will you follow with respect, enthusiasm, and willingness? Or, are you a reluctant follower – always questioning, always rebelling? Do you prefer to have a more participatory experience? Would you like a partner, and not a leader? Would you rather have someone who is your equal – or a group that will create synergy in the pathways ahead?

Maybe you’re a leader? What kind of leader are you? What style is your leadership? Are you more of a manager, a visionary, or a director? Do you want sheep-like followers, collaborators, or some other kind of people following you? Are you really a leader? Have you turned around to see if anyone is actually following you? If not, you might want to reconsider your perspective.

But let me ask you another question. One that has never been asked of me before. Dozens of people have asked about my leadership style; my vision; and even my plan. However, no one has ever asked me if I intend to do good… or evil?

Seriously – why wouldn’t anyone ask that. More importantly, have you asked this of yourself.

“The people you invite into your scheme may get caught into a web you never intended.”

Let’s say you have an idea. It’s a good idea and you invite people to become a part of your implementation. Of course you never intend evil to occur, but sometimes further down the path, the “law of unintended consequences” kicks in and horrible things happen. How far have you thought through your process? Did you consider all (most?) possible outcomes?

The people you invite into your scheme may get caught into a web you never intended. Or did you? Was your plan essentially evil from the beginning? We you planning to weave a web of deception? Or was this just a horrible plan that went awry?

Over a decade ago I caught the vision of raising up a church from scratch – a church that didn’t look like a church, but would be an inclusive community of spiritual growth and respect. It was a great vision and for several years we experienced tremendous success and satisfaction. But then it all came crashing down around us. In the aftermath, a large percentage of the people involved want nothing to do with church. I’m not sure that is good or bad.

“Most importantly, if you have a gift for leadership, are you using it for good, or evil?”

On the one hand it is good because we were able to catch a vision of what church could be like. The community and friendships we experienced were incredible. We were unlike any church you’ve ever been involved with – and that was great! However, on the other hand, this experience ruined us for life. We’ll never again be content with the mediocrity we typically find in churches. And yet, being a part of a church, no matter how lame, can still have positive benefits.

For me, I do relatively well without a regular church community. But as I scan the landscape I see some of my friends not faring so well. This concerns me.

So, I ask myself. Am I leading others towards greater things, or worse? What am I doing with the trust they’ve given me? (click to Tweet)

Have you asked this of yourself? What objective criteria do you have to determine this? How do you know if you’re good? How do you know if you’re evil?

Are you a leader because of an intrinsic desire to do good things, or are you just a narcissist? Do you see a need that isn’t being met, or are you just seeking to make a fortune through the lives and souls of those around you? Do you really want to change the world, or are you merely trying to change your standard of living?

Don’t get me wrong, financial gain is a big motivator, and if you have a good idea, product, or service, you deserve to be compensated. I have to tell you though, for me, money is not much of a motivator. I’ve turned down many offers that only dangled money as a carrot. I am more inspired by vision, ideation, and a vision to make a difference in the lives of others.

But how do you know what is right? How do you know if the leader, manager, or CEO you are choosing to follow is leading you in a direction that is right for you? And just because it isn’t an evil plan, that doesn’t mean it is right for you. Even good ideas can lead you in the wrong direction – personally – which can be destructive to your soul.

Most importantly, if you have a gift for leadership, are you using it for good, or evil? Are you giving away your gift, or are you hoarding the rewards for yourself? And have you even stopped to think about it?

___________________________________________

Three things to ask of leaders (thanks Rog), including yourself:

  • Do you know where you’re going?
  • Do you know how to get us there?
  • Can I trust you?

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