One of the most difficult things to deal with in leadership is correction. Now, I know some people don’t struggle with that; they have no problem correcting people…all of the time. But for most, when it comes to ministry, correction can be difficult to give and especially difficult to receive. But here is an important note:
“One of the most powerful growth engines in a leader is the ability to receive correction and learn from your mistakes.”
If we always get offended when a leader corrects us; we never grow. And if we are going #PRO as a ministry, as a team, and as a church, it’s imperative that we desire to know how to be a better leader…even if it means hearing some difficult truths. Here are a few Bible verses that deal with the subject of healthy correction:
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”–Proverbs 12:1
“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”—Proverbs 27:6
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”—Proverbs 27:9
“To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.”—Proverbs 12:1
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”—Hebrews 12:11
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16-17
And there are many more; they just aren’t the verses we love to do our devotions around.
Think about it; why do we discipline or correct our children? We want them to grow in their character, avoid pitfalls and pain, and we want to guide them towards their best possible life, right? That should be our approach in leadership development and in personal leadership growth.
“Being a master at giving and receiving correction in a God honoring manner develops character and guides us towards our purpose.”
Let’s look at 5 ways we can give and receive correction in order to develop a winning team and go #PRO:
- Remember that CORRECTION should be translated into VALUE
Because God sees value in correction; that means He sees value in YOU! If no one valued you; they wouldn’t correct you. If you talk to most people who grew up with parents who were non-existent or absent in their lives, they will tell you that they wished they had guidelines and discipline. We act like we want to do what we want to do, but if we’re honest with ourselves, deep down we truly want someone to show us the way. Why? Because it means they care about you.
“Nothing is worse than to go through life with no one ever pointing out the things that could have made us better.”
2. A willingness to RECEIVE is a willingness to GROW
If you’ve never had anyone correct you in leadership, then there could be an issue with your ability to receive correction. You never want to be the “egg shell” leader; the person that people tip toe around in order to keep peace.
“If a leader stops correcting you; it could mean they have given up on your willingness to receive it.”
And when that happens, they may already be looking for your replacement! Every leader’s dream scenario is to have a team full of people who are hungry to learn and grow and get better. A leader’s worst nightmare is dealing with people who think that what they do is perfect and doesn’t need correction. Those people always get offended when their work is questioned because they directly link their performance to their value.
“When you realize your value is in your God given POTENTIAL and not your human PERFORMANCE, you’ll always be hungry and able to receive correction.”
3. A willingness to GIVE correction is an act of LOVE
Again, I correct my kids because I love them and I want what’s best for them. If you love the people on your ministry team and the church (not to mention Jesus); you’ll correct them when they need it. But instead, we make excuses like:
‘Well, they are new and just didn’t know’. When someone is unaware of expectations or culture, it is always the leader’s fault. Don’t refuse to correct because of your lack of vision and leadership to your team. Own up to your mistakes and make it right. Correct them AND yourself.
‘They have a soft spirit, I don’t want to crush them.’ Ministry will either be the tool that God uses to strengthen us and make us strong or it will weed out those who want to stay where they are for the rest of their lives. Life is too short and Hell is too hot for us to waste time ‘playing’ church. Jesus loved Peter enough to rebuke him. He loves us enough to correct and chastise us when we need it. Catering to certain people because of their personality actually does more damage than good. We are all different and receive things differently, but it’s an even playing field when it comes to ministry. God shows no favoritism and neither should we.
4. We should always correct someone in a way that honors GOD and honors the INDIVIDUAL
There is a huge difference in correcting someone in a biblical way and someone who is on a power trip. If you honor and love the individual; THEY will be the first to hear about something they correction on; not someone else. Nothing dishonors God and the church more than to express frustration about another team member to someone else. And then they hear it from a third party.
To honor them and God; you need to address things when they happen and always remind people of the WHY’S!!! Most mistakes happen because either vision drift takes place or people aren’t clear on expectations or the why’s. Take time to invest in people; and remind them that God has done a great work IN them that He may do a great work THROUGH them!
5. Know the difference between GRACE and SANCTIONED INCOMPETENCE
As Christians, sometimes we use the word ‘grace’ too loosely. Yes, we should always err on the side of grace, but if you’ve allowed mistakes (especially the same mistakes) to be allowed over and over again, that’s not grace. That’s sanctioned incompetence. That means as a leader, you don’t have the guts to have the tough conversation. I know this, because it’s something I’ve struggled with for years but with God’s help; I’m getting back in the gate!
If some of you were business leaders or bosses at your jobs, you wouldn’t be able to afford sanctioned incompetence. Yes, you get paid at your job, but what we do is WAY more important than a paycheck, title, or profit. If we truly believe that what we do furthers the Kingdom of God, then we cannot allow sanctioned incompetence. Grace may be giving that leader a third chance after having the same conversation multiple times. But leadership is knowing when to move that person out of a position and help them land on their feet. Remember:
“The train is moving too fast to slow down for incompetence. Where we are headed; it’s important that people want be on the same train as us.”
So, here are a few discussion questions with your team and to reflect on personally:
- Does my team or myself have a problem either giving or receiving correction? If so, why?
- Am I allowing sanctioned incompetence on my team? What do I need to do to correct it?
- Do I do a good job of leading with clear expectations, the why’s, and with our culture and values? If so, give some examples of how you do that. If not, what can you do to begin leading in this manner?
- Do you correct people in a way that honors God and people? Why or why not?
- Are you good at receiving correction? Why or why not? What can you do in order to go #PRO with your own leadership and with your team when it comes to healthy correction?