3 Ways to Avoid Bully Leadership

by | Apr 27, 2016

My alarm went off early one morning to a painful Focus on the Family story about a man who grew up in an orphanage. As I laid there captivated by the horrific childhood picture he was painting, I was drawn into his description of the bully system in the orphanage. He literally was beat up every single day in some form or another.

As I listened, the Lord moved my mind to the workplace and the organization structures that make our workplaces work. Much like this orphanage, the workplace has a certain pecking order. Rather than physical might or age determining the pecking order, often times a title makes that determination for us. God has put a man or a woman in authority over a specific area of the organization. Their authority may include coworkers, as well. And with that, leadership is expected.

Here’s the question. Do we abuse our authority? Even subconsciously, do we occasionally flex our organizational muscles in inappropriate ways? Do we employ bully leadership? I think we do. Even the best intentioned leaders can bully with his or her words, actions or decisions. Does that mean that leaders are not firm, decisive, and give needed feedback to an associate? Of course not. But maybe, a few of us can consider how we can refine our leadership (our authority) in a way that pleases God.

Here are three suggestions for you to consider:

  1. Dial up your Humility and SelflessnessIf you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
  2. Ask God for Wisdom and Discernment If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
  3. Pray for all those in AuthorityPray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  1 Timothy 2:2
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David Roth

David Roth has been the president and CEO of Workmatters since October, 2003. Workmatters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in Northwest Arkansas in 2003 with a mission is to help people pursue God’s purpose for their work. Since then, Workmatters has been used to impact thousands of leaders in Northwest Arkansas and across the U.S. Prior to leading Workmatters, Mr. Roth was vice president, sales and marketing for J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Before joining J.B. Hunt in 1999, David was the senior vice president of marketing for Manugistics, a supply chain management software provider in Maryland and vice president of marketing for American Software in Atlanta, Ga. He also has nine years of supply chain management experience with McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. and Harrison, Ark. David has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas. He resides in Fayetteville, Ark. with his wife, Theresa and has two sons, Dylan and Tyler.