Freedom To Fail

Posted: September 7, 2009 in Church Leadership, Random

A good leader is suppose to be willing to let others fail in order to help them learn and reach their full potential. They typically tout their organization as a safe place where people can figure out who they are and how they will lead, by convincing people that they can fail and it won’t cost you your job. Letting others screw up and learn on the job is admirable and helpful (long-term), but it has a price.

  • It’s fine to let someone manage the budget less efficiently, mess up, and cost the company…but what is the dollar amount limit?
  • It’s nice to let someone figure out their leadership style while they make enemies and have incredible turnover…but how much turnover is palatable?
  • It’s great to let let a rookie counselor talk the “jumper” off the roof…but is it worth the consequences if they fail?

This weekend, we let Micah play with a sparkler at my brother’s wedding. Part of me thought it was a bad idea and knew people that wouldn’t have let their kids do the same thing. Yet it was extremely fun for him…for a while. Now there is potential of long-term problems if his hand scars badly.

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Where are you allowing the freedom to fail go too far?

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