19 Jan “LEARNING THE HARD WAY LEADERSHIP” Part 1
It’s been said that correlation does not necessarily equate causation, BUT here’s the thing… when there seems to be a link between the two we should look into it.
Having helped start businesses and served in ministry for over twenty years I have learned a great many deal of lessons… the hard way. I know this is true of 90% of Ministers and Entrepreneurs, who’ve learned many lessons the hard way. I will admit that as I’ve grown older, and matured a tad more, I’ve come to see the danger of wearing the “I’ve learned the hard way” badge as an indicator of true leadership.
There is no necessary correlation between the “I learned the hard way” philosophy being a flawless indicator of it causing “Good Leadership.” We can say that there seems to be a link between the two, but the fact that there is a link can neither confirm and/or guarantee that this correlation is incontrovertible proof of causation.
As a consultant who has ministered in multi-cultural scenarios, helping assess the current state of many ministries and organizations, I have seen this mindset to be prevalent. Many leaders celebrate, promote and look up to people who have learned the hard way, and for the record there is nothing inherently wrong with respecting the school of hard knocks.
So what’s the issue?
My contention is that the idea that successful leadership is brought about by learning things the hard way may be a tad off. I would argue that “Doing it the Right Way” (which will increase the chance of successful ministry in the long run) is the golden link between correlation and cause and in fact the true reason for successful leadership, not “Learning the Hard Way”.
What’s the difference????? The difference is simple
The “Learning The Hard Way” philosophy: This philosophy tends to be committed to Trial and Error. It basically lives and dies by saying “What’s in between Correlation and Causation is a lot of HARD WORK.” In other words if I work hard enough and come up with enough good ideas… then this ministry / organization thing will work. While this is not a bad thing, the problem tends to be that people set out to try their hand at ministry or starting up something new by doing something that may sound like a good idea with no specific end in mind other than “let’s see if it works” or “God will see it through” mindset. This doesn’t usually yield lasting results because there is no greater purpose, mission or vision attached to what is being done.
The “Doing it the Right Way” philosophy: This philosophy subscribe to the idea that you can attain your goals with an effective process that is informed by an overarching purpose. This philosophy lives and dies by saying “What’s in between Correlation and Causation is a commitment to a WELL-INFORMED (clear) purpose.”