How to Take All the Fun Out of Leadership

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Want to kill all the fun you could be having in leadership?

Just fall into the comparison trap.

Because nothing kills the fun of leadership faster than comparison.

I saw this played out in a funny way today here in China.

I’m in this fascinating country for two weeks, visiting Christian leaders and today we had the thrill of taking a high-speed bullet train from Shanghai to NanJing. Inside the car a readout board continued to update our traveling speed.

At one point we reached a top speed of 305 kilometers per hour!

Later that day we took the train back to Shanghai.

But much to our dismay, the top speed this train reached was a measly 264 km/h.

The people I was riding with kept joking, “What a rip off! 264 km/h?! I could WALK faster! This morning we topped 300!”

We were kidding around, but even in the joking I winced at the leadership truth being revealed; comparison kills leadership fun. As soon as you start comparing your church size with Saddleback, start comparing your preaching ability with Andy Stanley, or your leadership horsepower with Bill Hybels, it just puts a downer on everything.

Specificially, comparison kills leadership fun in 3 ways:

1.   It robs you of celebrating your wins

Our train home was doing 264 km/h! And that wasn’t fast enough?

When you start comparing, as an example, congregation sizes, you begin focusing on the people you DON’T have in your church, rather than the one’s God HAS brought.

And that’s no fun.

2.   It positions colleagues as competitors

It’s hard to come alongside, support and have fun with someone you’re secretly envying.

Can I let you in on a secret? That other leader has problems too.

3.   It takes your eyes off of things that really matter

Our train home was on a different route than the morning trip, and despite being slower it actually got us back quicker than the morning trip.

We were measuring speed. We should have been focused on time.

When you compare, you can miss out genuine progress because you’re focused on the wrong stuff.

Bottom line; if you’ve fallen into the comparison rut, cut it out. That’s just a leadership fun killer.

I’m sure your leadership train is doing just fine.

How do you keep yourself from leadership comparisons?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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