Over the years, I’ve engaged with organizations where the work of the organization and/or its fundraising program has been hampered – even damaged – by obstructionists.
Obstructionists are people who live in denial. They know deep in their heart that they don’t fully measure up to the job they’ve been called to do, so they deflect and obstruct, holding onto their power with a death grip.
They work hard to protect their ego, mask inadequacies, and nurture their insecurities. But living in denial not only damages them, it creates incredible collateral damage.
You know who you are. You’re not fooling yourself or anyone around you. So let me give you some advice to help you move from being an obstructionist to a “constructionist”… someone who is truly making a difference.
First, none of us can measure up to the responsibility we’ve been given. We all need the help and input of wise and talented people around us. You think that seeking advice and help is a sign of weakness but it is not. It is a sign of wisdom. Yeah, wisdom.
You show yourself to be wise when you seek the counsel of others… and both listen to it and act on it.
Proverbs 15:22 tells us, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” There’s no qualification on this. It applies to every individual, including you. No one is that good!
So embrace the fact that you can’t measure up to your responsibility on your own and begin seeking the advice and counsel of others. Be wise.
Second, pride is one of the most toxic attributes any person can possess. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Your behavior of blocking good ideas along with your unwillingness to take advice, undermining others, and playing political games for your own protection is your pride at work. And it will not set you up for success, but ultimate failure.
Now I know this is hard, but instead of allowing your ego to drive you, embrace humility. It is one of the greatest qualities of those who are truly successful. And as you begin to exercise humility, you will demonstrate to all those around you a sense of inner strength and confidence that will win you great admiration.
Finally, everyone around you knows your weaknesses and inadequacies. In fact, they are more attuned to them than you are. So stop trying to hide them and pretend like they don’t exist. Instead, accept your areas of weakness and seek out those who will strengthen you where you are weak.
I love the wisdom of Solomon, known as the wisest man who ever lived. His insights captured in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes are deep. He speaks to this truth in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
My plea to you today is to stop being an obstructionist living in denial. Instead, make today the day that you determine to turn over a new leaf, seeking the wise counsel of others… pushing aside your pride… and embracing the help of others to overcome your weaknesses.
By: Rick Dunham