Leaders Never Beg

Well… at least they shouldn’t anyhow. I want to be clear that I am speaking from the perspective of leadership within the Christian realm although application could be made in business at large. If I were to beg anything of you, it would be that you embrace the gospel and trust Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Apart from that, I have learned that effective leaders never beg.

First, never beg someone to join you. If you must beg then you are getting a half-hearted follower, member, or employee at best. I would rather have a couple of fully devoted, totally engaged, loyal, passionate members than a room full of half-hearted people that I have to beg to come alongside. In addition, they will always treat you as if you owe them something more and they will feel entitled to give you less since they sacrificed by giving in to your pleading.

Second, never beg anyone to stay.  I hate to lose good employees, faithful members, or friends (who feel called to other opportunities). When the person has talent or when you have grown close personally, it is especially difficult. I am thankful that it does not happen often and if it does you should spend intensive time in self-evaluation (of your church, ministry, or business). “I’m leaving.” Those words can hurt. Here is my typical response when those words are spoken;

“We’re going to miss you. “

“We sure hate to lose you.”

“I wish you all the best.”

If I beg them to stay and they do, I have painted one or both of us into a contradicting theological box. If I can convince them to stay then they are acknowledging that they were not hearing God clearly when they felt compelled to depart and I may be retaining someone who is not walking closely with the Lord. If I can convince them to stay, and they were hearing from the Lord, I am attempting to usurp His will and bend them to mine. People are certainly entitled to a change of heart and even if they do return after stating they are leaving, you need to spend serious time in debrief and deep consultation regarding good decision making skills and understanding the will of God.

Here is what leaders do instead of begging.

  1. They share a compelling vision that people want to be a part of. People do not want to miss it. They want to be a part of a movement that is bigger than themselves. They would have to be dragged away.
  2. They invest deeply in personal relationships with members, team mates, or employees. The love runs deep, the times together are filled with joy, obstacles are overcome, and departure would be too painful to bear.
  3. They create an environment that is challenging and fulfilling. Every organization has a culture. That culture is created by the decisions, investments, relationships, and leadership style of those at the front. Effective leaders are in tune with the morale and culture of the organization.


Can God call someone away from an environment like that? He can and He does. And when it happens, while the parting is sorrowful, the influence of the existing organization is magnified. One more thing…People are waiting in line to fill the vacancy in that kind of environment.

I won’t beg you to follow my advice because leaders never beg. But I do hope this word of exhortation maximizes your leadership!