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Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

Presentation summary of some aspects of the book by the same name, by Gary MacIntosh. Focuses on leadership problem types, particularly from a Christian perspective.

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Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

  1. 1. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership Presentation summarizing parts of the book by Gary L. McIntosh and Samuel D. Rima Sr. [Baker Books, 1997]
  2. 2. What is the “Dark Side”? <ul><li>“ ... refers to our inner urges, compulsions, motivations, and dysfunctions that drive us toward success or undermine our accomplishments.” (pg. 29) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ People who ignore or refuse to acknowledge their dark side frequently encounter major failures in their leadership responsibilities.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Leaders who face their dark side and redeem it accomplish the most over the long run.” </li></ul><ul><li>(pg. 37) </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is the “Raw Material” of the Dark Side? <ul><li>1. PRIDE. </li></ul><ul><li>-Prov. 11:2 </li></ul><ul><li>-Prov. 16:18-19 </li></ul><ul><li>-Prov. 29:23 </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is the “Raw Material” of the Dark Side? <ul><li>2. SELFISHNESS. </li></ul><ul><li>-Rom. 2:5-8 </li></ul><ul><li>-James 3:14,16 </li></ul><ul><li>-Mark 10:35-37 </li></ul><ul><li>-Phil. 2:3-4 </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is the “Raw Material” of the Dark Side? <ul><li>3. SELF-DECEPTION/WRONG MOTIVES. </li></ul><ul><li>-Prov. 16:2 </li></ul><ul><li>-Jer. 17:9 </li></ul><ul><li>-Mark 7:21-22 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Linked to these Raw Materials is the Perception of Unmet Needs. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  8. 8. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Self-actualization Esteem Love Safety Physical Needs
  9. 9. According to Abraham Maslow, we live at the lowest level of unmet need. We do not move higher until the need is met. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  10. 10. If, due to upbringing or traumatic past experience, we feel threatened at a level of need, it consumes our interest, and can breed destructive behaviors. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  11. 11. For example, a leader who comes from a perfectionistic family in which perceived love was withheld except for high achievement, may become consumed with achieving perfection to fill this unmet need. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  12. 12. Four Stages are often involved in the “dark side” of leadership <ul><li>1. Stage 1 is NEEDS , The leader has needs that need to be met. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Stage 2 is TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES . This makes the leader feel that some need is not met (or at risk of becoming unmet). The missing block in the pyramid. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Four Stages are often involved in the “dark side” of leadership <ul><li>3. Stage 3 is EXISTENTIAL DOUBT , This the feeling that unmet needs flow from personal failure. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Stage 4 is DARK SIDE DEVELOPMENT . Development of destructive behaviors that attempt to compensate for the feelings of inferiority or failure. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 5 Dysfunctional Leader Types <ul><li>Compulsive Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Narcissistic Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Paranoid Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Codependent Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Passive-Aggressive Leaders </li></ul>
  15. 15. Special Note on Dysfunctional Leaders <ul><li>Many of the leaders who fit into these dysfunctional categories are wildly successful organizationally. However, the problems in their own personalities, if not effectively dealt with, can be the seeds of their own (and their organization's) destruction. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Compulsive Leader [85-93] <ul><li>A compulsive leader feels the need to maintain absolute control. </li></ul><ul><li>An example in the Bible of this is Moses who felt the need to control all aspects of the life of the Israelites (until reproved by his father-in-law, Jethro). Exodus 18. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Compulsive Leader [85-93] <ul><li>Compulsive leadership flows from the leader’s compulsive personality. “The leader sees the organization’s performance as a direct reflection of his or her own person and performance. The compulsive leader pursues perfection to an extreme both in personal and organizational life.” (87-88) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Compulsive Leader [85-93] <ul><li>A compulsive leader: </li></ul><ul><li>Is status conscious </li></ul><ul><li>Looks for reassurance and approval from those in authority. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeks to control activities and keep order. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually is a workaholic </li></ul><ul><li>Can be moralistic, conscientious, and judgmental. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Compulsive Leader [85-93] <ul><li>At heart, a compulsive leader is angry, resentful, and rebellious. These attitudes are usually repressed . </li></ul>
  20. 20. Narcissistic Leader (94-103) <ul><li>Narcissistic leaders are self-absorbed. The world revolves around themselves. They have an overinflated view of their own importance. They are exhibitionistic. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, they are full of self-doubt and try to overcome this with bigger projects, exploiting others for his/her own image. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Narcissistic Leader (94-103) <ul><li>A good example from the Bible of this person is Solomon. His building programs impoverished and enslaved his people for his own glory. Ecclesiastes describes the heart of such behavior and its ultimate uselessness. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Narcissistic Leader (94-103) <ul><li>Narcissistic Leaders do not find satisfaction with their accomplishments, nor with their life in general. </li></ul><ul><li>Often their grandiose fantasies ultimately bring themselves to ruin. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Paranoid Leader (104-113) <ul><li>Paranoid Leaders are afraid that anyone or anything (real or otherwise) will undermine their leadership or grab their limelight. </li></ul><ul><li>They are usually suspicious, hostile, hypersensitive, and secretive. </li></ul><ul><li>They are jealous of gifted people, and always in search of rebellion. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Paranoid Leader (104-113) <ul><li>A good example of a paranoid leader in the Bible is King Saul. His fear that David was more popular than himself and that David might ultimately eclipse himself, eventually led to his ruin. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Paranoid Leader (104-113) <ul><li>Paranoid leaders typically have difficulty maintaining close relationships since doing so requires some level of self-disclosure and transparency. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Paranoid Leader (104-113) <ul><li>Paranoid leaders often hold tight control onto power and public roles (like a compulsive leader). But he does it for fear that the other person might do a better job. Thus he maintains rigid structures of control. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Codependent Leader (114-127) <ul><li>Codependent Leaders seek to keep peace and cover up problems, rather than face them. They tend to do this regardless of the usefulness or the honesty of doing so. </li></ul><ul><li>Codependent leaders also tend to be a reactor, rather than an initiator. They often worry obsessively about the feelings of others. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Codependent Leader (114-127) <ul><li>An example of a codependent leader in the Bible might be Samson. Samson does not appear to be an initiator of action so much as one who responded to the behavior of others around him. He sought the approval of others around him… even his “enemies.” Even when he knew a woman was trying to get him captured, he still went along with her scheme so as to please her. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Codependent Leader (114-127) <ul><li>Codependent leaders have difficulting confronting others. They tend to have schedules that become out of control because their lives are controlled by the emotional states of others around them. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Codependent Leader (114-127) <ul><li>“ At the heart of the codependent leader is a repressed and frustrated person who has trouble giving full, honest expression to emotions or problems.” (124) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Passive-Aggressive Leader (128-135) <ul><li>Passive-aggressive leaders tend to resist demands to perform tasks well. They are driven by fear of failure. They are also afraid of success since success would raise expectations for the future. </li></ul><ul><li>They tend to complain and demoralize others. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Passive-Aggressive Leader (128-135) <ul><li>In the Bible, a possible example of a Passive-aggressive leader is Jonah. </li></ul><ul><li>Jonah was angry and resentful that God had a big job for him to do, and impulsively ran off. </li></ul><ul><li>When his reluctant actions proved to be wildly successful, Jonah was still unhappy with God. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Passive-Aggressive Leader (128-135) <ul><li>Passive-aggressive leaders are often impulsive with short outbursts of intense emotion. Such behavior often leaves others uncomfortable and confused. </li></ul><ul><li>They also have difficulty setting goals and implementing plans… since doing so gives opportunity to fail. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Passive-Aggressive Leader (128-135) <ul><li>Procrastination, dawdling, and intentional inefficiency is common behavior. This is done to keep expectations low. If the expectations for the leader is suitably low, there is less risk that the leader won’t meet these expectations. </li></ul>
  35. 35. How to Overcome the Dark Side <ul><li>While many have succombed to self-destruction and failure due to the uncontrolled manifestation of their dark side, many have been able to overcome and channel their drives productively. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some recommendations from the authors. </li></ul>
  36. 36. STEP ONE <ul><li>Admit the existence of the dark side of one's life, and understand the shape it has taken in one's life. </li></ul><ul><li>(Denial of its existence ensures it is not dealt with.) </li></ul>
  37. 37. STEP TWO <ul><li>Examine one's past. With the Holy Spirit as your guide, see how the events in your life affect who you are and your perceptions. </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready to forgive oneself and others for the trauma of the past. </li></ul>
  38. 38. STEP THREE <ul><li>Resist the POISON of unrealistic expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations can propel you to achievement or weigh you down to failure. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply God's grace to your life and leadership. </li></ul>
  39. 39. STEP FOUR <ul><li>Practice the discipline of self-knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Let the Bible be your mirror for accurate self-knowledge. (James 1:22-25) </li></ul><ul><li>Practice Spiritual Disciplines. </li></ul>
  40. 40. STEP FIVE <ul><li>Learn and understand your true identity in Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Your value does not depend on worldly status and accomplishments. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>“ How easy it is for us as spiritual leaders to use our ministry positions and the people we have been called to lead to advance our own goals and meet our own neurotic needs. … It is crucial that the church address this issue before irreparable harm is done to the cause of Christ in this generation... May God find us faithful.” (p. 214) </li></ul>
  42. 42. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership Presentation summarizing parts of the book by Gary L. McIntosh and Samuel D. Rima Sr. [Baker Books, 1997] (Created by Bob Munson)