30 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 31: The Leadership Crash: Why Talk about It?

Everyone has a weakness, and because we’re all imperfect, none of us is exempt from a leadership crash. In this episode, we tackle why it is important to talk about the leadership crash and the most crucial element in preventing a fall and recovering from it.

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1:48 Why do we need to talk about the leadership crash? Why do we need to see it coming? How healthy will a leader be when s/he recognizes it in their own lives?
Jeng: I wish I learned about this when I was still a student and starting out as a leader.

2:36 If I were healthy as a leader, why do I still need to listen to this? Why should this still matter to me?
Jeng: This is crucial in a leader’s life because we won’t graduate from moments of weakness or indecision. That’s why we need to talk about this over and over again, because important things are worth repeating.
Dean: That’s right. No matter how strong we are as a leader, there will be moments of sadness, challenges, and weakness.

3:42 As leaders, how important is it to talk about this, knowing that we are called to help others prevent a leadership crash or be restored from a fall?
Jeng: One of our gifts from God is the opportunity to help other people, those we lead, because we are called to set them up for success. We are called to be there even in moments of struggles or even a fall, so that they can get up and continue to do what God has called them to do.

5:30 How important is accountability for a leader?
Jeng: When I was a student, I wasn’t used to opening up my life to others and asking for help. It roots from my personality and the fact that I only had myself to depend on whenever I had a problem to solve. I felt like I didn’t need others in order to survive. I didn’t need others to help me. When I started to follow Jesus Christ, that’s when it clicked that I needed other people to recognize what God wants me to do. The church community is a great blessing–not just having people watch over you, but people who would help you know yourself more and help us recognize God’s voice in our lives as well.

8:40 How can I encourage the person I’m leading to be accountable to me?
Jeng: It’s hard to force someone to an accountable relationship, so as leaders, our goal is to build trust in the relationship that would facilitate accountability.
Dean: Yes, it’s really important for the leader to build a safe environment where the people they lead can open their lives without fear of condemnation.

10:40 How do you attempt to create a safe place for the person you lead to be open and build trust in you?
Jeng: I go back to one principle, “Building relationships take time.” Each person is different and we have to interact with them according to their unique personality. The practical steps to build this is through T.I.M.E:
1) Time – find ways to be with them just to have conversations and talk about life.
2) Intentionality – in the midst of our busy schedules, because we know relationships are important, we become intentional in building relationships.
3) (Celebrating) Milestones – anything that can be celebrated: birthdays, accomplishments, any small step forward.
4) (Shared) Experiences – we do things together and go through things together.
Dean: That’s so great Ps. Jeng. What you are describing really boils down to discipleship. It’s amazing that we are talking about leadership, and yet discipleship is one of the vital things that help us guard against a leadership crash or be restored from one.

15:17 How do we help someone who has already gone through a leadership crash?
Jeng: I experienced a time in my life when I did not allow myself to appreciate the safe place that God has given me in a church community. Because of that, I was already missing out on what God has set for my life. I knew that I was drifting away from God’s plan in my life. If we are having a hard time to listen and receive from those who care about us, then we might be missing out. We have to remember that these are people who care about us and desire to pull us back from a potential leadership crash and bring us back again to the path God has for us. We all have that tendency.

So, when I was leading students, I thought I should just say the right words to them so that they won’t get to the point where they’ll make a mistake. But I reached a turning point when God changed my heart to be more loving, in a way that made me choose to love a person no matter what they’ll choose to do–whether they listen to me or not, whether they move forward or make a mistake. Love is the best posture. We may have biases or personal convictions that we’ll be tempted to push on another person. But when we love someone, there’s a way to speak the truth, to help him/her identify what they are going through, to help them heal in that area, to speak faith, and to lift him up once again. The best way to help someone is to love them.

Dean: Indeed, we see this example in the Bible all the time. King David fell, but it wasn’t the end. God gave him a chance to repent through Nathan. Peter denied Jesus Christ three times, and he was restored by the Lord when He came back to life. We also hear from Paul, that he has a thorn in the flesh, that he fully depends on God’s grace to deal with. To all the leaders listening, a crash is never the end.

21:10 Have you ever experienced seeing someone approaching a leadership crash and you tried your best to help them, but they won’t listen to you? How do you deal with that in love?
Jeng: That is a reality we need to embrace as leaders. People won’t always respond the way we want them to. I’d like to look at two different contexts. If that person is new in their relationship with God and we’re still building a trust relationship with them, it would be good to simply walk with that person instead of simply just hitting on that specific issue. If you already have a strong relationship with the person and they have been walking with God for a while, you can address the concern directly especially if they are on the brink of a fall. Speak the truth in love, but if they do not receive it, allow them to take full responsibility of their decision. But remember not to disconnect, because your relationship will be the bridge, just in case they need to be restored.

24:25 Summary: Why talk about the leadership crash and what is necessary to prevent a crash or to be restored from it?
1) Reality of the Need – we need to watch over our lives and to keep a humble heart before God, knowing that we are all susceptible to a leadership crash.
2) Relationships to Trust – we are blessed with a church community that can helps us prevent a leadership crash; let us not isolate ourselves from those key relationships.
3) Readiness to Help – we are called to help others prevent a leadership crash and be restored to a right relationship with God, so that they can accomplish God’s purpose and plans for their lives.

The ENC Leadership Podcast is hosted by Dean Pasaba and JV Puno. In this episode, Dean is joined by Ps. Jeng Aguinaldo, the Provincial Director of ENC Philippines. You may message Ps. Jeng on Instagram or Twitter (@jengaguinaldoii) or on Facebook (Jeng Aguinaldo II).

Processing Questions: 

  1. Are there people in your life who can speak the truth in love to you when they see you heading towards a leadership crash? Thank them for the love and commitment to your growth.
  2. Is there anyone that you need to message today to reaffirm your dedication to their growth? Intentionally spend time with them this week.

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