The “L” in Leadership is Not for “Liar”

There are several things that would disqualify a person from being a leader or at least from being considered a leader, but there are two particular reasons I want to discuss which happen to fall under the same category.

The “L” in Leadership is Not for “Liar”

Lying and/or Deception (which is essentially lying) is one of the top actions to disqualify a person from being a leader. Sure, they may posses a leadership position, but that doesn’t mean they are a leader; no more than my putting a golf ball in an egg carton makes it an egg.

Leadership is the ability to influence people towards a specific vision or goal. When an individual resorts to the art of lying or the use of deception, they are no longer considered a leader, but rather a manipulator (and that’s only if they are able to successfully maneuver people as a result of the lies).

Leadership is the ability to influence people towards a specific vision or goal. The use of lies and deception eliminates the key verb, “influence” in that definition. Lying is not influencing; its the attempt to appease another person (telling them what they want to hear) or its an effort to try and avoid difficult conversations or issues. A leader does not hide from confrontation, he addresses it head on (see Saul vs. Jonathan in 1 Samuel 13-14). A person will also be found resorting to lies and deception when they’re attempting to reach their own goal in a dishonest manner.

  • It could be a supervisor saying what they think an employee wants to hear in order to deceive them into believing they have an opportunity to retain employment when the supervisor’s goal is to keep them employed until the person they really want to work with is available.  Even if the supervisor is able to keep that employee in place until the perfect timing to replace them, the supervisor did not reach this goal through influence, rather by deceiving the current employee that they had an opportunity.
  • It could be a sales manger who promises a salesperson specific rewards or bonuses if they reach a specific sales number and then backtracks on that promise with some type of petty excuse once the salesperson reaches their goal. The sales manager reached their goal of higher sales from their salesperson, but they didn’t use influence, they used lies.
  • It could be a pastor with a specific vision or goal for his church and when facing opposition and friction from his leadership team and/or elders, he pushes harder, lies and deceives to paint a picture of horrible consequences if they do not go along with his idea. Even if the pastor gets his way, he will not have done it through any influence of his own, rather through manipulation.
  • Ditto point #2, just change the person in question with a politician and change the vision for the church to an idea for the country. I think you can figure it out.

Join the conversation: Are you a leader that’s resorted to lying and deception to get your way? Why?

Have you been in an organization where the “leader” above you used lies and deception versus influence to obtain what they wanted? What was the results?



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