I heard an interview with former Browns coach Eric Mangini towards the end of the 2009-2010 season. The Browns had struggled to a 1-11 start before rallying off four consecutive wins to finish the season (including a win over Pittsburgh to dash their playoff hopes).
Mangini was asked how to get the guys to play for him after a 1-11 start. He said something along these lines...Its times like these when you learn who you want to be in the fox hole with when the battle is the thickest.
I have no idea why that has remained in my head for well over a year, but it has...and the question for leaders is who they can trust and count on in the trenches when the war rages most fierce.
There aren't many more important questions than this. Here's where leaders mess up.
1. They go Rambo...Rambo couldn't survive in Church Leadership with his solo flying style...Many leaders wonder why the war seems to be coming in from every direction...And part of that may be because he/she is trying to go it alone
2. They are in the trenches with Fools...Nothing worse than getting shot at from your own trench. Sometimes church leaders allow the wrong people into the battle...hint...if they complain and bash the church more than they pray and serve the church...they should not be in your fox hole!
3. They are in the wrong trench...Leaders get confused and sometimes they alienate the Mission and the Vision for something less meaningful. (People Pleasing /Politics/Personal Agendas). When this happens, these leaders start firing at some of the key people in the organization and it will almost certainly end in death...of the leader and the organization.
Led Leaders find the trustworthy, God-abiding people who are ready and willing to go to battle for the hope and future of the church and those people hold up the leaders arms so that the battle will be won.