Are You a Martyr?

reluctant-nudge1I found this short article fascinating:

In a recent article in Inc. Magazine, Les McKeown shares these thoughts:

3 Signs That You’re a Martyr, Not a Leader

#1)  You’re a Bottleneck… and you secretly like it!

Martyr-leaders have unfulfillable commitments, impossibly Herculean to-do lists, and triple-booked schedules – all for the purpose of generating the warm, comforting glow of indispensability.

#2)  Your Default Mood is Self-Pity

Watch a martyr-leader as he goes about his daily business, and you will find two primary attitudes on display:  poor me and head-shaking sigh.

#3)  You Exude Learned Helplessness

Martyr-leaders live in a self-taught state of mind wherein nothing is ever truly fixable and everything is a mess – and expect the rest of us to feel the same.

This is Russ writing again…

I looked up the word “martyr”, and one of the definitions is the following:  “A person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy or admiration”.

Do you know leaders like this?  Are you one of them?

I think at times I have used “martyr-like” words and actions in my leadership…

*When I feel overwhelmed, I want others to identify with me or at least know that I’m struggling

*When asked how I am, and I respond, “I’m really busy”.  This is more of a statement of being unorganized then of good leadership.

*Yes, I have exaggerated at least once or twice in my leadership, looking for either sympathy or for people’s worship.

I don’t want to be a martyr-leader.  Do you?

There’s a big difference between being a leader that shares needs or asks for help and being a leader that uses guilt to manipulate people’s feelings and people’s dependence.  This is a sign of a “Reluctant Leader”:  A leader that has the tools to lead, but just won’t take the ownership and responsibility to make it happen.

Are you a martyr-leader?

Are you doing any of the 3 things the article talks about above?

What can you do TODAY to change that? 

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 31 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. To learn more about Russ, visit: Write directly to Russ at: twitter: leadwithruss, leadermundial

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Leadership Community, Personal Leadership Tagged with: , , , , ,


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