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As a leader, have you ever stopped to think about what you believe about those that you lead?

What you believe about their intentions? Their dreams? Their desires?

Deep down, what you believe about them influences how you approach them. It impacts how you lead them.

If you’re in a leadership role, that means God has positioned you to take part in the refining work He is doing in those you lead. That means He intends to use you to teach, to guide, to shepherd.

Sometimes that teaching or guidance is easy. It’s not difficult to address and is readily received by the recipient.

Sometimes that teaching or guidance isn’t as easy. Sometimes the topic is more sensitive and difficult to address—and isn’t readily received.

In the past I’ve struggled to address difficult situations with those I’ve led. Maybe I’m afraid of how the other will respond. Maybe I believe I have no place to say anything. Maybe I believe they don’t want to hear it from me.

Well, they likely don’t want to hear it from me. Or anyone else, for that matter.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t hear it.

In fact, Scripture is clear that we have a heavenly Father who loves us so faithfully that He will address issues in our life that get in the way of our relationship with Him. He will address issues that hinder us from being who He created us to be.

And one of the most important things I can do as a leader is to align myself with that work so those that I lead grow and become more of who God created them to be.

I’ve found that when I have a difficult scenario to lead someone through, there is an initial question I have to ask myself. The question serves as an internal compass for me and keeps my motives focused in the right place.

“Deep down, what do I believe about this person?”

Do I believe they want to be a better parent? A better teammate? A better Christ-follower?

The truth is, I don’t think anyone on my team (staff or volunteer) wakes up in the morning and says, “Man, I wonder how I can really screw up today?” No. In fact, I’m convinced that every one of them wakes up in the morning wanting to be better today than they were yesterday.

The bottom line is, if I believe those that I lead want to be better, then I’m quicker to step into the hard conversation. If I believe that deep down they want to be more of who they were created to be, then I hesitate less. I’m not as hindered by the “what if’s.”

Truly leading others guarantees that you will have hard conversations. And leading well through hard conversations requires that we examine our beliefs about each person. And at the end of the day, I’m better served when I’m honest and choose to believe they want to be better.

What do you choose to believe? Tell us on Facebook.


Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. Her marriage to Kyle keeps her marginally sane, while their three kids (Keegan, Josie and Connor) keep her from taking herself too seriously. Visit her blog at ginamcclain.com for more information about her ministry.

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