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The Invisible Side of Leadership

The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on our gains. Any fool can do that. The important thing is to profit from our losses.

Congregations sometimes judge leaders by "apparent success"—and we sometimes judge ourselves that way as well. But leadership is more than outward. To lead a congregation, we must recognize some intangible factors, both good and bad.

Let's start by identifying three false indicators of successful leadership.

1. Succeeding at a private agenda. When this happens, the leader progresses but the people don't. A pastor builds a large church, for example, in order to win a denominational post rather than to serve the people.

General Electric once learned that young eager beavers running branch or subsidiary operations would sometimes take short cuts that didn't show up until after they were promoted upward. They would cut maintenance expenditures, for example, and throw the money into the profit column. That made them look extremely good. The next fellow would ...

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