I’m a people pleaser. There I admitted it. I want people to know I like them and I want them to like me. There are good things about this. I am generally curious about people’s stories and lives. I enjoy being with people. And many more positives about seeking to please people. However, like other positive traits, there is a dark side to people pleasing. People-pleasing makes for a good sidekick but a horrible master of the ship.

One of the greatest dark sides of people pleasing is that I have a hard time saying “no”. Just ask my wife (on second thought don’t ask her she might not like me then). Another dark side to people pleasing is being paralyzed to make a decision because I know someone will be displeased, unable to attend, or just not like the idea. This is the aspect of people please that hurts me and any other leader most. People pleasing and leadership don’t make great bedfellows.

Sometimes it’s okay to say this is a thing we can do and it is simply for whoever can, and wants to, be there.

Stephen Kneale

Leadership at it’s core is about influencing others. People pleasing on the other hand is about fearing others. You cannot fear someone and lead them well simultaneously. This isn’t just the case for individuals but for groups and organizations as well. As leaders we want to influence, impact, and serve as many people as we can. However, sometimes, as Stephen Kneale writes, “You Can’t Do Everything for Everyone“. Or to put it another way, “Not Everything is for Everyone“. As Stephen speaks, sometimes as leaders we just have to recognize the limitations we have.

Leadership is difficult on it’s own. Whether you are leading your family, a small business, a church, or large organization, it’s just not easy to impact and influence others. But if you are seeking to only please the ones you serve everyone will lose. So while I readily admit to being a people pleaser, I am seeking to lead people and not just please them. I’m a work in progess, but they say admitting you have a problem is the first step to improvement.

What about you? Do you see any people pleasing tendencies in yourself? How has or does it affect your leadership? I hope you read and are challenged by Stephen’s article. As always I’d love to hear what stood out to you or what some form of application you will put into practice from it. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

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