Leaders Make The Difficult Decisions

Every leader, at some point in his or her leadership life, will be called upon to make a tough decision. And the acid-test of credibility for leaders lies in their ability to make, and follow through on, difficult decisions.



I began in church ministry as a youth pastor. I’ve always struggled with being a people-pleaser, and when I was younger, I really wanted everyone to like me.

There came a time, however, when I had to make a tough call.

And as I look back on my life as a leader, I believe this one instance was my crucible; my "make it or break it" moment.

I didn't have to confront a teenager; I had to confront an adult; and not just any adult. I was a 26-year old student minister having to confront a 60-year old member of our church board, a former missionary, during a mission trip in a South American country.

His behavior and actions had damaged the reputation of the missionaries we were working with, and in the worse incident, damaged the credibility of the gospel. As the team leader, I needed to confront him. I didn't want to, but I knew I had to. It was gut-wrenching, difficult and uncomfortable.

I lovingly confronted my brother - and he wept like a baby. Awkward! But things turned around with his attitude, amends were made to the offended people, and I passed my first, tough test of leadership: Am I willing to make the tough call, and then follow through with it?

Marion Folsom said, "You're going to find that 95% of all the decisions you'll make in your career could be made by a reasonably intelligent teenager. But they'll pay you for the other five percent."
Credibility for a leader comes from not just knowing the right decision; it's in making the right decision. The effective leader does both well.

Here's the encouraging news: tough calls generally lead to break-throughs. Do you need a break-through in your life, organization or ministry? Make the tough call.

Every leader has to face their own crucible. Maybe you're facing one now. Some shrink back; others rise to the occasion. And therein are great leaders developed.