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Hindsight Sample


DAY 1 OF 7

Micromanaging gifted people had multiplied negative effects. To change, I had to do a deep dive into my motives. I wish I’d done it years ago. I would have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache. But better late than never.

1. Take time for transparent introspection. 

Ask yourself the hard questions about motives. I’m talking about hidden motives and shadow purposes, not just preacher-speak about always honoring God. All of us have mixed motives. If we’re not honest about them, they’ll eat us alive and prevent us from being the leaders God wants us to be.

2. Have a mentor, coach, pastor, or consultant who will ask penetrating questions and who has the guts to say things you don’t want to hear. 

Meet regularly enough to maintain continuity in the relationship and in the input. And listen. Gifted, wise, experienced people see things we don’t. Invite this person into your life early to maximize your potential and minimize the damage you cause.

3. Force yourself to listen. 

Micromanagers only listen to themselves because they only trust their own judgment. In your planning, write out questions to ask individuals on your team that will draw them out. Don’t jump in to correct them or even comment. Instead, say, “Tell me more about that.” If they don’t want to say much or they speak with an edge of anger, it may be because you haven’t created a safe environment. You can start to create one by continuing to listen. Speak last, not first. If you always have to have the first word and the last word, you’ll always micromanage.

4. Apologize. 

If you recognize a pattern of not trusting people, of being too involved in their lives and ministries, and of robbing them of the joy of taking risks and seeing success, swallow hard and apologize. It’s not enough to say, “I’m sorry” and then go back to the same oppressive routine. Combine contrition with a commitment to trust them more fully and an invitation for them to tell you when you’re overstepping.

5. Change your metrics of success. 

Instead of everything revolving around your identity as a successful pastor, push the evaluation down and broaden it: a new definition of success is your staff members’ creativity, their willingness to take risks, the growth of their ministries, and the leaders they raise up and believe in. It’s perfectly fine to give someone a goal, but then let him or her come up with a plan and run it by you. If you see holes in the plan, don’t fill them with your directives. Point out the need and ask the person to think, pray, and complete the plan. In this way, you stay involved, but you communicate trust in the staff member’s creativity and competence. That goes a long way to create a healthy culture. This style of leadership is coaching instead of smothering. Be a coach, not a tiger mom.

About this Plan


Pastor Maury Davis shares some of his biggest leadership mistakes over the course of his career as lead pastor of Cornerstone. Read what he learned, and how you can come to overcome your mistakes too. Learn from his expe...


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