Unfair Expectations of a Leadership Pedestal

Unfair Expectations of a Leadership Pedestal

I remember my mother telling me, “Only one thing happens when people put you on a pedestal. You fall off!” She was a pastor’s wife and knew that people always treated her differently. She didn’t put herself on a pedestal. My mom was (and is) a very humble person and doesn’t claim to be perfect. But for some reason, people placed unfair expectations on leaders.

What should a leader do when he or she is on a pedestal of unfair expectations?

Pedestal1. Remind Yourself of the Pedestal
Even though you know that you are a “real” person just like everyone else, it is important to remind yourself of the pedestal that others put you on. Most leaders don’t see ourselves differently, but we have to remind ourselves that others will always see us differently. Acknowledge that the unfair and unrealistic expectations exist, but don’t make them your primary concern.

2. Refuse to Balance on Their Pedestal
When you remember that they have put you there, you can remind them that you are normal. Leaders are not mind-readers. You do not know what kind of imaginary pedestal others have created for you. It may be extremely tall, very narrow, and very unstable. This is unfair and unhealthy for you and those you influence and lead. Worrying about balancing on a fake pedestal will cause stress and disappointment for you and the wonderful people you are attempting to lead.  You don’t have to balance on the pedestal others built for you.  As a leader, it is important to stand on the platform that God has given you.

3. Step Off and Step Over
As you lead, it is necessary to gently step off the pedestal by being open and transparent. You don’t have to tell them every detail of your life to be transparent, but be open enough that they realize you are a real person with real struggles. Get off of that faux pedestal and step into your calling and walk in the mission God has given you. When you are standing exactly where God wants you to be, it is a wonderful thing!

Oh, and don’t put yourself on a pedestal. You aren’t that big of a deal! Be a servant leader and you will succeed.

 

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Adam Clagg