Dr. Howard Hendricks, a church growth expert, was once asked to diagnose the declining membership in a certain church. After attending service for several weeks he met with the board of elders and said, ‘Put a fence around it and charge admission, so people can come and see how church was done in the 1950s.’ In other words, you’re hopelessly behind! When our ego is on the line, we have a tendency to put a positive spin on things while ignoring all evidence to the contrary. The danger is that over time we lose sight of what’s actually happening around us. Good leaders refuse to do that; they’re relentless in their quest to know the score. They root out misinformation and refuse to reward those who deliver it. In so doing they create a culture that’s transparent concerning what is and what isn’t taking place. To ensure that they live this way, they live by these seven commandments:
1) Thou shalt not pretend.
2) Thou shalt not turn a blind eye.
3) Thou shalt not exaggerate.
4) Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news.
5) Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers.
6) Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism.
7) Thou shalt not isolate thyself.
Attempting to make progress while turning a blind eye to reality is like treading water; it can only go on for so long. Eventually you drown. Whether it’s in your church, your business or your personal life, be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it is. And if you don’t like what you see-start changing it!