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Policies are anti-leadership statements. Most people think that I embrace and love policies because I am an Executive Pastor at a large church. Not so much. I’m actually policy averse. And I’m policy averse because policies undermine leadership growth.

1. Policies Abdicate Responsibility

It’s never your fault if you’re implementing what a policy tells you to do. It’s safe. It’s safe because the policy is to blame, not you. Leaders take responsibility they don’t abdicate responsibility. By the way leaders don’t play it safe either.

2. Policies Drain Courage

It takes no courage to put a policy into effect (unless it’s an unpopular or stupid policy). Leading through difficult circumstances builds healthy confidence and courage as a leader. It is also how leaders learn how to win. Implementing policies not only robs you of the opportunity to build healthy courage as a leader, but it also drains you of courage. This is because you train yourself to rely on policy instead of developing your leadership instinct.

3. Policies Teach Your Staff Not To Think

Telling people what to do actually makes them stupid. When team members are taught to look in a manual for a policy to help them, they miss the opportunity to grow. They also will never learn how to think and act on their own. Difficult moments in leadership are where young leaders learn how to lead. You don’t become a great leader from executing policies. You become a great leader by leading.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. There are moments when everyone in the organization needs to know what to do and a policy needs to be put in place. Policies can be useful when they reflect and build the culture you’re trying to build and get you closer to your vision. If your policies don’t help you get past that test then why do you have them?


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