Hard times in ministry, business, or one's personal life require facing up to the facts, looking challenges squarely in the face, and realizing that sticking your head in the sand doesn't change reality.
I was recently rereading Larry Bossidy's
book Confronting Reality
. I highly recommend it. Even though it's written primarily to business leaders, there are lots of applications for ministry leaders, also.
Here are some highlights:
"The best strategies, the most rigorous research, the clearest operating plans--all are undermined because key people behind them have missed the reality of the situation for one reason or another. The fact is that the greatest consistent damage to businesses and their owners is the result not of poor management technique but of the failure, sometimes willful, to confront reality."
Bossidy also outlines the five habits of highly unrealistic
leaders. This alone is worth reading the book!
- Habit One: Filtered Information. Leaders many times don't receive the real facts from the people who are where the action is taking place, so leaders live in a world of nonreality about the enterprise.
- Habit Two: Selective Hearing. The information may be solid but it does no good if the decisionmaker turns a deaf ear to it when it is presented.
- Habit Three: Wishful Thinking. Wishful thinking is the root of much selective hearing and seeing. An example of this kind of thinking is "This has always worked before, and it will work now if we just redouble our efforts."
- Habit Four: Fear. If people in the organization are fearful to speak up and let leadership know that they are on the wrong track, then fearfulness leads to unrealistic leadership decisions.
- Habit Five: Emotional Overinvestment. People can accomplish many great things because of their deep commitment, but the downside is that an emotional overinvestment can blind leaders to the truth of the situation.
So, is it time for us to do a reality check