By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Leadership. Sometimes thankless, often criticized, the job of leadership can be deeply misunderstood by those who do not lead. As shepherds, leaders face the wolves. They are the captains that go down with the ship. Their investment is real.
This week, a friend who runs an addiction recovery group was lambasted as unteachable and controlling because a group member who is both those things was slightly inconvenienced. Leaders must keep some emotional distance from those they lead to prevent their own downfall toward favoritism and obligation. It is unfortunately also necessary because one unrecovered addict or troubled soul might cross the line. Leaders must balance caring about people and developing protocol that supports both function and boundaries.
Leaders are the ones who put prayers, sweat, and tears into planning, making difficult choices, and prioritizing the mission over less vital issues. Does it make sense for someone merely observing to demand that a leader accept a suggestion without giving the leader time to think about it? Is it realistic for a leader to lower well-considered standards because one person took it personally?
Leading an organization or ministry specifically to support those who are finding their way back from a difficult time, requires some thick skin. These therapists, pastors, counselors, peer supports, and doctors most often stay the course unless of course, their lives are threatened.
The men and women who help are not without feelings, impatience, self-doubt, or anger. They must take steps to maintain their mental health, too. Take the time to say thank you to leaders for their service. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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Any advice on helping 12-steppers who prefer to avoid meetings with others who have the same interpersonal characteristics as themselves? I know you know that we often react most strongly to those who have flaws we unconsciously recognize in ourselves (while being consciously blind to those same inner faults). Maybe this would serve as a writing prompt you could apply your experience to. Correcting bad meeting behavior is a process, but meeting avoidance provides instant gratification for the short term.
Good point and good idea!
Jon, I guess my approach has been to let adults take responsibility for themselves. I’ll address the issue privately, but after that what can I do? None of us change until we want to. Yes, missing meetings feels good at the moment. At some point, the absentee has to decide which pain is worse – being there and facing their issues with another member, or not being in meetings. This is how I would address it with them privately.
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