Temptations are a serious phenomenon for everyone. We are all tempted in different areas of our lives: with our diet, our money, our exercise, our decisions, our statements, and even with whom we spend our time. Even the most self-controlled are tempted. Remember how Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness? Now if only we could resist temptation like Jesus we’d be in good shape, wouldn’t we?
The temptations leaders face can be vast and heavy. They’re heavy because when we falter, others also feel the weight of our actions, decisions, and statements.
Here are three of the most common temptations I see leaders face today.
The temptation to be self-sufficient.
Wow, this is a big one for many of us. We tend to think that we know it all, and we don’t need others’ advice. We lack trust in the ability of our teammates. We control instead of empower. We micromanage. We rely on “me.”
The temptation to be spectacular.
Leading others doesn’t mean you become a celebrity. In fact, leadership isn’t about you at all. This temptation causes us to seek the spotlight, the attention, the credit. Look at me, look what I can do. Look at what I have.
The temptation to be powerful.
Why is power even associated with leading? Powerful equates to ego, titles, money, control, and force. Needing power to lead is the opposite of leading; leadership at is core is merely influence, and you don’t need power to influence others.
As you read and think on these three temptations, do you see any trends or similarities?
All three have the “I” and “me” factor going on. All three shun the importance of others around us. All three stifle the growth of our followers. All three are a threat to one’s ability to make wise decisions. All three are rooted in pride.
Temptations, are just that, tempting! We all face temptations no matter our leadership level or season in life. Be intentional and aware of areas where you’re tempted to put yourself above others; when you slip, call yourself out, and hold yourself accountable so you can fight against those temptations.
For my faith-based friends, a good reminder for us is knowing that God does not tempt. Satan is our tempter, and he wins or loses based on our ability to turn away from temptation! What a great motivator to stop and reflect when we feel temptation is near.