“When the leader is bitter and cynical, the followers will either begin to adopt those same those attitudes, or simply move on.”
You can’t hide it for long… cynicism will eventually show itself.
It’s not very noticeable at first. It begins like little weeds that grow in your mind. The seeds will be constantly throw at you.
They might come from the outside…
- …you’re not given credit
- …your opinion gets overlooked
- …you are criticized
They might come from inside your head…
- … “they’re not on board with me”
- … “that person has it out for me”
- … “I’m not appreciated”
Some of those seeds carry a portion of truth, some of them are likely just born out of your imagination or speculation. As these things grow, they begin to spread their roots – eventually tapping into your reserves and draining you dry. You’ll be left with bitterness and cynicism. Here is one of the big dangers: When the leader is bitter and cynical, the followers will either begin to adopt those same those attitudes, or simply move on. If you are in any type of leadership position, be careful to pull out the little weeds daily.
If you are unwilling to self-diagnose, others have likely already noticed it. Here are a handful of ways you can identify cynicism:
How do you pull the weeds out? Take a moment to think calmly and rationally, pray, write things down for clarity, forgive if necessary, then let it go. (And if it tries sprouting again, remind yourself of truth, forgive again, and let it go again.) If there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed, then address it kindly and quickly. But be sure you are not operating on imagination and speculation (or just being thin-skinned.)
As a leader, find your peace and joy in following Jesus’ example to serve others selflessly. Don’t try to draw your strength, peace, joy, and passion from other people.
Joy, passion, and hard work are powerfully compelling. Bitterness, cynicism, and apathy are dangerously contagious.
Be careful how you lead.
By Eddie Zdanio