Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday's Answer: Overthrowing Dictator Tendencies

"How do you lead a group without becoming a dictator?"

True-to-life nightmares can begin while working under a leader who acts like a dictator. Their controlling spirit leads others by fear, intimidation and micromanagement. Members have to salutely follow or get out of the way while watching their backs.

A wise homeschool group leader never wants to come close to being a dictator, but does desire to truly lead others selflessly and compassionately. Don't worry; the balance between surpassing weakness and avoiding oppression can be achieved by keeping in mind these simple points:
  1. Lead with Confidence--In my desire to not be tyrant-like, I can struggle with being too easy-going--shying away from asking others to help bear the load or taking too much time to make a decision. Remember (as I do to overcome this tendency) that others do need and expect you to lead, take charge and make good decisions. You can earn respect with thoughtful decisiveness.

  2. Lead with Heart--Care about your members. Spend time getting to know each family (including the children). Nothing can replace the knowledge that you care for them and have their best interests at heart. They will see your genuine love and happily follow your lead.

  3. Lead with Freedom--Allowing the free flow of ideas encourages creativity. Say "yes" as much as you can (as much as it fits with your vision statement) and stimulate self-motivation. Give your members the chance to learn and grow, succeed or fail, in a safe environment. Step in only when necessary to help them succeed.

  4. Lead with Courage--Stand quietly confident in all situations by giving the complete control to the Lord. When difficulties come, pray. Don't resort to anger or fear. These inferior responses will only lead to the intimidating tactics of dictators and tyrants. Overcome anger and fear through prayer and love and a pure heart. When you have done all, stand.

Sometimes your biggest criticisms and conflict will stem, not from you, but from a member who has a controlling spirit. I have seen some members who bucked against answering to any type of authority (from getting approval for projects to any of the groups' rules). I have seen these members go out and start their own group, running it with complete, absolute authority. They always want to be in control.

Wise leaders know it is truly about God being in control. These leaders lead with courage, freedom, heart and confidence, overthrowing any tendencies towards fear or anger. They are free and you can be, too!

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JoAnn said...

Terrific article. Very helpful. The Lord has given you great insight.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this article. I think I'll print it out for my leaders' notebook. :)

Darla said...

This is fantastic and I agree with Calico Prairie, I'm going to print it out. Never thought of a leader's notebook but that is a great idea as well. Knowing my time here transient it wouldn't be bad to have something to pass on to my replacement.