Manipulation vs. Inspiration – Part 2 of the “Versus” Series

Hey… it’s tough out there! When you have responsibilities on multiple levels, and there are deadlines, and you are depending on multiple people to do their job so you can get your job done. It can get very frustrating to say the least, and on the far end of the spectrum, it can drive you to a place of control, and even manipulation.

You know I try to use myself as an example as much as possible, and this is no exception. When I first started out in a leadership position, the only model I had was a “business” model as a business owner, and I did not know God at all, so my moral compass was certainly off. So when a started leading in a mission/ministry capacity, the only leadership model I had was, ” get everyone to do what you need them to do so you can get the job done.” I had another motivation as well… I wanted to impress my leader.

So I tried to control everyone, squash threatening better ideas, and basically use any tactic that would get what I wanted to get done, regardless basically, if my means were manipulative, controlling, honest or dishonest. What I wanted was what mattered most… with all my good intentions. Here I was leading in a nobel mission, and resorting to dishonest means to accomplish that mission, and using others along the way. In my case, the results were not very favorable! I was most certainly not inspiring!

People resented me, didn’t want to help me, felt that I was selfish, controlling and was more concerned about me than certainly them or the work at hand. Good intentions. The old adage is this, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. My “good intentions” were not an excuse for my unrighteous behavior.

To really frame this so we can see how deep this can get, especially in terms of manipulation to get what you want, even with good intentions: The Bible says it like this, ” Manipulation is as witchcraft.” Meaning that we are not using truth or love with selfless motives, but falsities, exaggerations, embellishments, and whatever else we feel we need to get done what needs to get done. All of my life I had been this way, so it took a while to trust, that if I did things God’s way, He would back me up.

This was the beginning of my leadership development lifestyle. This was the beginning of development of character, integrity, trustworthiness.

Finally, I remember someone telling me along that way,

” Bill… you can lead people, and they will follow you because you lead by example. When you push them, you are behind them, and you cannot lead effectively from behind.”


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