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    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Leadership Fail- Pedro Style

    Napoleon Dyanamite and the characters that surround him are often quoted characters but rarely has anyone ever uncovered the depth of leadership advice that these characters and to the table.

      I once thought this to be an impossible statement, but now I can see that many leadership lessons can be learned both in the successful statements by these characters and by the failing one-liners they state.

      Today's Leadership Lesson form Napoleon comes from Pedro and his big, impossible promise to the student body.

      Napoleon gave Pedro the advice of saying something huge like: "If you vote for me, all your wildest dreams will come true!"  Pedro seemed to think this was a good idea, so he used it in his speech to the student body.

      The story surrounding this speech is hilarious but we can indeed take a leadership lesson out of this fail and the lesson is: Don't make promises you can't keep!

      I think too often, we leaders make promises we can't keep.  We say we will do certain things or can achieve certain successes but in reality we know we can't...making those promises makes us look good in the moment though, so we make them.

      Understandably, Pedro, Napoleon and the students knew the promise being made from the mic by Pedro was a falsified promise and it was used for humorous reasons in the movie: yet leaders actually do this all the time.  One of the reasons it's humorous is because it has a hint of truth to it.

      Political campaigns are the best for ridiculous promises, inflated promises are made that the candidates know will  most likely not happen, yet they do somewhat desire those things to come true.  The sad part about political promises is that people can make them, knowing that the other party will shut them down, so they always have someone to blame when the promise fails.

     In church leadership (or any other leadership) it is less likely to have such a big scapegoat as the other party...yet leaders still make overinflated promises to their people.

      When leaders promise something and don't deliver it makes them look dishonest or worse apathetic to the people they are leading.

    When leaders promise things that don't happen they become useless because if they can't get done the things they promise, how can they get other things done?

    When leaders fail to follow through it make their followers think they don't care; or they simply forgot.

    Broken promises hurt all sorts of relationships, so magnify the broken promise to hundreds, thousands or millions of followers and the leader of those people has a lot of relational damage control to take care of.

     Simply put: keep your promises and it will go better for you as a leader.

      It's easy to fall into the trap of pleasing the crowd with big promises.  It's attractive to be loved by all by toying with their hopes. Let's be real however, not self seeking.  Let's make promises and decisions that can actually be kept and can come to fruition and stop wasting our time on things that make us look good but can't ever be done.