Listen to this inspiring episode of Leadership Factory: Building Leaders with Purpose where you’ll discover the 6 signs of leadership insecurity:

How Emotional Insecurity Prevents Effective Leadership

If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked. (Proverbs 29:12 NIV)

Spotting Insecurity in Your Behavior

  1. COMPARISON: You compare yourself to others.

Danger: You ignore the unique role that you and others are to play on the team.

Example: The Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20)

  1. You ignore God’s grace to you because you are preoccupied with the status of others.
  2. You grumble and complain about perceived inequities.
  3. You judge others as less worthy of blessing than you.

When Peter saw him, he asked: “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered: “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me. (John 21:21–22 NIV)

2. COMPENSATION: You feel like a victim and must overcompensate for your inferiority.

Danger: You fail to trust God’s control by taking matters into your own hands.
Example: Jacob (Genesis 27, 32)

Example: Jacob (Genesis 27, 32)

  1. You scheme about how to get ahead and how to gain recognition.
  2. You fight irrational battles to get what you think you deserve.
  3. You may stoop to dishonesty and deception to get results.

Do not fret . . . Be not envious . . . Trust in
the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in him . . . Rest in the LORD . . . Do not fret . . . Cease from anger. (Psalm 37:1–8 NASB)

3. COMPETITION: You drift into self-centered patterns, trying to outperform others.

Danger: You become obsessed with building your own kingdom, and you will do anything to win.
Example: The “Older” Prodigal Son (Luke 15)

Example: The “Older” Prodigal Son (Luke 15)

  1. You tend to keep score in life.
  2. You tend to be critical and judgmental.
  3. You tend to live a self-centered life.

But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. (Gal. 6:4–5 NASB)Danger: You risk burnout due to impure motives and unrealistic expectations.

4. COMPULSION: You are driven to gain others’ approval; you are a people-pleaser.

Danger: You risk burnout due to impure motives and unrealistic expectations.

Example: Martha (Luke 10)

  • You get distracted from “big picture” priorities and become consumed by your own performance.
  • You grow weary because you attempt to do too much––for the wrong reasons.
  • You tend to be a perfectionist.

By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10 NASB)

5. CONDEMNATION: You demonstrate a judgmental attitude toward yourself or others.

Danger: You experience a distortion of reality and are tempted to withdraw from responsibility.

Example: Elijah (1 Kings 19)

  • You have short-sighted perception of your circumstances.
  • You complain about unjust circumstances and feel overwhelmed.
  • You fear your own demise and insignificance.

But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:3–5 NASB)

6. CONTROL: In order to validate your own worth, you feel you must take charge.

Danger: You think win/lose, not win/win. Because you are charting your own course, you risk integrity, protect personal “turf,” and often slip into the “scarcity paradigm” of thinking that you never have enough.

Example: Sarah (Genesis 16)

  • Your circumstances determine your understanding of God’s character.
  • You become self-seeking and manipulative of others.
  • You eventually suffer from the “martyr” syndrome.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for your welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11–13 NASB)

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