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How to Derail a Leader

Our leadership conference continues. We are studying Spiritual Leadership, by Henry and Richard Blackaby. Sessions discussed, among other things, the pitfalls that can derail spiritual leaders. The Blackabys discuss 10 of them. It was interesting to see how engaged the group was during this session. All of us have known, either in ministry or corporate domains, leaders who have fallen from significant leadership positions because of one or more of these issues. And, of course, we can all see our own tendencies in these as well. Here are a few of the pitfalls we discussed:

  • Pride: a subversive sin, which disorients leaders’ worldviews, makes them unteachable, and makes them rely on themselves instead of others and, most importantly, God.
  • Cynicism: a chronically negative outlook, without providing optimism and hope, leads to negative people in negative organizations.
  • Mental laziness: unless leaders continue to learn, and surround themselves with strong networks of other leaders and subordinates who push them and keep them sharp, their skills and competitive advantage will inevitably deteriorate. Staying rooted in prayer and Scripture prevents leaders from being swayed by leadership fads.
  • Oversensitivity: how leaders respond to failure, or to either legitimate or unfounded criticism, can either make them stronger or make them wither.

I have really enjoyed our time reviewing Spiritual Leadership; it’s given me lots of helpful information to bring back to HOPE as I fly back to the United States. I hope that you have enjoyed these blog posts. Many thanks to my gracious hosts at CCT and my fellow leadership trainees!

David Wasik


Dave joined HOPE in July 2011 after many years working in banking with Capital One. He has since had the opportunity to visit many of HOPE’s programs and partners worldwide.

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