3 Dumb Things That Non-Leaders Do

Stack of PapersLeadership is much too important for us to be making dumb decisions. Those who have been given a position of leadership should give careful thought to how they lead and the signals they are giving off to the people on their teams. Leaders should try to learn from the mistakes of others and try their best not to imitate them. That being said, here are 3 dumb things that non-leaders do.

1. Non-leaders try to do too much on their own.

Non-leaders do not delegate. They usually think only they can accomplish the task, want to take all the praise for themselves, or are afraid that things won’t be done exactly the way they want. When non-leaders choose not to delegate the end result is unnecessary stress and burn-out because they do not have time to do everything.

In the book, Spiritual Leadership, by J. Oswald Sanders, he writes, “The leader must carefully select priorities. He or she must thoughtfully weigh the value of different opportunities and responsibilities. The leader cannot spend time on secondary matters while essential obligations scream for attention. A day needs careful planning. The person who wants to excel must select and reject, then concentrate on the most important items” (95).

A leader must be able to select which items are most important for he or she to carry out then delegate what he or she doesn’t have time to accomplish. Delegation is crucial not only for the health of an organization, but also for the spiritual health of the people in your congregation. We are all called to be servants. Everyone should be given opportunities to serve and minister within the church.

2. Non-leaders argue and complain.

Non-leaders are not team players and they grumble and complain when decisions don’t go their way. They think only their ways are best and want to make sure that everyone else knows it. They aren’t flexible and when last-minute changes happen they are sure to let the rest of the team know about their discontentment with the situation.

Imagine if your entire ministry team was made up of individuals who argued and complained about situations they did not like. Would you enjoy being on that team? Would you look forward to meeting and working together? Do you think many tasks would be accomplished? A leader should model the actions that he or she wants everyone else to convey. John Maxwell, in the book The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, speaks on this issue by saying, “You can effectively teach only what you consistently model. It takes one to know one, show one, and grow one” (XII). If you are modeling argumentative behavior and complaining all the time, perhaps you are leading…just not in the right way.

3. Non-leaders do not use influencers properly.

Non-leaders usually do one of two things with the influencers on their teams. They either ignore them and choose to work around them or they place them in an area of non-influence. Non-leaders are either being selfish by trying to show-off their leadership skills (or lack-there of) or they are unaware of who the influencers are on their teams.

God gives us all different gifts. We must learn the gifts of our team members and allow them to use them to accomplish tasks in those areas. Those who have influence are naturally great leaders. We should allow them to use their leadership gifts and build up our teams through those gifts. Get to know your team and observe who is making a difference in leadership. Place the people who possess leadership skills in prominent positions within your organization and those team members are sure to flourish.


What are some other dumb things that non-leaders do, regarding to these areas? What have you learned about leadership in these areas from your experiences in working with people? Leave your thoughts and comments in the comment section!


Maxwell, John C. The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 2002.
Sanders, J. Oswald. Spiritual Leadership. Chicago: Moody Publishers. 2007. 


  1. Here’s what I would add:

    *Non-leaders stop dreaming. Because God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20), we need to dream big for our ministries.

    *Non-leaders are closed-minded to the opinions of others. We need to remember that we are not the only ones with the fuel that will move our ministries forward.

    *Non-leaders stop being teachable. It’s dangerous when we think we’ve learned all that we can.

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