There are three things that cause leaders to fall; money, power and sex. Almost every time a leader is forced to step down one of these is a problem, sometimes all of them.
The question is not if we will be tested in these things, but ‘when?’.
When? But that means it will happen to me and to you one day. That also means that we need to work on our defence line. Like fire prevention, we have fire evacuation plans and practices. Do we have the same when it comes to money, sex and power?
Do we create security lines around us, so when temptations are coming we can stand and stand with good integrity. I have listed some thoughts I have made in may daily walk with God and as a base leader. I hope they can be helpful to you.
How do we relate to the opposite sex?
Often we say there are no set of rules for this, and I agree, but there are some clear lines that we as leaders can give ourselves and the people we lead.
What is clear is that a we need to avoid a man to mentor a girl. I have made that a rule in my life, though sometimes it could have been easier and I could have found ways to justify it. Simply the risk is too high.
Risk of what?
Sex? Yes, but the risk of complication goes beyond that which we believe God has created between husbands and wives. Isn’t there more than the physical that binds people together? What about the emotional connection? What about the power we gain over others?
Emotionally there’s a danger of going too far. We can think that we are protecting ourselves, with having a mentor time in a public cafe or even over Skype and other online media. But we can not stop our emotions just because we meet in an open place.
A lady asked me once, shouldn’t we ask the question ‘What is a single woman’s motivation for seeking a mentorship with a man?’ I like the question, because it’s relevant both ways.
From my point of view, we should not mentor the opposite sex, even if we set things up so it looks transparent. Let’s just not do it. Base leaders, if needed, make a point of meeting together as a couple, or pass things on to other staff members.
We can not avoid interaction from time to time. We will drive together, make food together in our kitchens, and in our teams doing outreach together. My point is to make a fence around us so we are protected and our team members are protected as well.
Make sure you have people that dare to speak into your life. Elders and mentors are great, but the most powerful are peers. If they think you are over the limit when it comes to this subject it is wise to take their advice. Personally I know that if my leadership team would say something to me I would be heartbroken and embarrassed into taking appropriate action.
Power over others: this can also come from the same root, as we can be given an inner satisfaction from having control over other people. Not a control that is visible, but more an unconscious way of power into staff and leaders. We need to make protection lines so we don’t get under a spirit of controlling the opposite sex.
This power can come because we like the attention we get, the “look at me feeling”, “I am still young”, or “I am nice so my mentor like to spend time with me”. Power goes both ways..
Looking at many leaders that haven’t been able to stand in the day of storm, I often think our friend Luther is correct when he says, ‘You can not stop a bird landing in your head, but you can stop it from building a nest’. Things start small and develop from there. Lets make sure we have accountability when it comes to thoughts, inner life and let’s make fences so we don’t need to go over the line.
In our mission, let’s go for good standards and let’s make sure that we take care of ourselves and our staff in a way that we are all protected and can stand in times of storms.