At the 2010 Willow Creek Leadership Summit, one of the sub-themes was, “I will stop using anger as a leadership tool.”
Though I have seldom used anger as a tool in the workplace, I have used it at home. My wife once told me she was tired of walking on egg shells, meaning “I’m tired of your anger.” I’m sure my two daughters have also been on the receiving end. I can’t think of a time when anything good came out of one of my outbursts.
Anger supposedly demonstrates who is in control. What it really reveals is who is out of control.
Anger supposedly will promote change in behavior. What it really promotes is pervasive fear that paralyzes the organization.
Anger supposedly shows strength of position. What it really shows is weakness of character.
Anger supposedly reinforces “I’m right.” What it really reinforces is “I’m proud.”
It is interesting that in scripture, God puts anger in the same list of sins as immorality, idolatry, sorcery, drunkenness.…
Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB95)
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity,
sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,
disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing.…”
That’s enough said about how God feels about it.
Anger rarely if ever accomplishes anything good. It may accomplish what you intend, but only if your purpose is self-centered and intended to inflict humiliation and pain. Anger always has the effect of damaging relationships—at home, in the church, at your workplace. So take to heart the Summit sub-theme. Resolve today that you will stop using anger as a leadership tool. You’ll be a much better leader.
By the way, don’t kid yourself that “forgive me” will erase the effects of repeated outbursts. “Forgive me” only works if it doesn’t happen again.
[There are only two months until the November 5th Hard Lessons Workshop. Sign up today on the home page.]
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner