3 Areas Young Leaders Should Never Compromise

Take a look at leadership failures. Think of great leaders who have failed.

Without even thinking about leaders who have failed, a couple come to mind:

General Petraeus

President Bill Clinton

Tiger Woods

Tim Lambesis (Lead singer of As I Lay Dying

Jim Bakker

Those are but a few of the leaders who have seen their leadership destroyed or tarnished because they compromised in areas no leader should ever compromise. And I’m not naming any names to shame anyone. I’m bringing examples you probably know.

Once you begin to compromise in these areas, you’re on a very slippery slope that could wipe out your influence as a leader.

That’s why I want to look at the areas that are vital to maintaining great leadership.

Leaders, especially young leaders, should never compromise:

Faith: For me, faith is the bedrock of my leadership, and my life. Every decision I make is based on whether or not it aligns with my beliefs. If the decision fails to align with my faith, the decision gets nixed.

Faith plays such an important role in the life of a leader. Faith tells us where boundaries lie. Faith tells us where our hope should lie. Faith tells us where we need to be heading.

When we compromise in the area of faith, we begin to lose focus. Things become less clear. And it’s easier to get off track.

If matters of faith arise in your leadership, know where your beliefs lie. And stick to them.

You don’t have to compromise your faith. You can make decisions that reflect your faith and holds true to the faith you believe in.

Family: A majority of the leaders I listed in the above example failed in the area of family. So many leaders have been crushed with a moral failure because they compromised on the vows they made their families.

Infidelity. Murder-for-hire. Detachment

The failures in family all begin slowly and subtly. You decide to stay late at work one night, only it becomes a habit. You decide to close the door to your office when Sally approaches you. You decide you can’t take anymore and talk to someone who can take care of the problem.

It all sounds far-fetched. In reality you’re only a few bad decisions away from choosing this path.

Commit daily to loving your wife, to loving your children, to keeping the holy commitments you made so many years ago.

You don’t have to compromise your family. You can make the choice to hold them dear.

Health: Our days are so jammed packed with business and doing our work that we can easily forget to take care of our bodies. The very thing that will serve us well into old age.

We forget to go to the gym. We decide to eat poorly while on the road. We might even take health supplements that aren’t healthy.

It’s all in the name of leading, right? Wrong!

There are plenty of ways to stay fit while leading. Here’s a post I wrote on staying fit during a long work day.

You don’t have to compromise your health You can do the activities that will keep you healthy and strong.

If you don’t think compromising on these things will cause you to lose your effectiveness as a leader, let me introduce you to Tim Lambesis. Lambesis shared his story on how he fell from the beloved singer of As I Lay Dying to sitting in a prison cell during a recent AltPress interview. Reading this story made me realize how easily and how quickly one can fall in leadership when we give up on faith, family, and health (granted he had an unhealthy obsession with staying healthy rather than ignoring his health).

Let his story be an example. As we begin to step away from our core foundations, the road becomes rocky. The compromises become easier.

Make a commitment you won’t walk in the paths of these leaders who have compromised. Make a commitment to stand strong to your faith. Make a commitment to always love your family. Make a commitment to stay healthy.

Question: What is one area in your leadership you won’t compromise in? Share this area in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Nick

    My marriage is one area I will not compromise in. My wife helps and builds me up to be the leader God has called me to be. However, in health and faith, two areas I struggle with are consistently spending time in prayer and scripture, and getting enough rest.

    • Nick, that’s awesome. You know what’s important in your life! Too many people decide to compromise in their marriage and then wonder why marriage isn’t what they expected.

      As for faith and health, have you tried waking up a little earlier than usual, maybe 10-15 minutes? Use that extra time, while the rest of the family is asleep, to get into the Word or get in a little exercise.

  • My family all the way, they are the foundation from which I can move and live on this earth. When I think of how many peoples lives are shipwrecked because they didn’t invest the time need to keep a healthy family.

    • It’s sad, isn’t it? We see the wreckage of families all across the nation because leaders compromised with their family.

  • Exemplary service and a warm network. Both fall into the “Important, but not urgent” quadrant, but cannot and will not be neglected.

  • Carol Peterson

    I agree about the faith. I couldn’t lead worth beans if I didn’t know that God was first leading me.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head with these three. I want to keep my God first, my family second. I want to lead with integrity. I pray I would always represent Christ well in what I do and in how I lead.

    • Thanks Jon! I think you’re doing a great job of that.

  • I’m with you Joe: Faith, family and health!

  • Pioneer Outfitters

    What a wonderful post and so true.
    When I was recovering from my last stroke I was given The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It is a constant source of strength to me. I found my Faith and through it, I was given a chance to find the rest of my family- all of you. Through both, I regained my health (such as it is! LOL). Each time I read The Purpose Driven Life, it reaffirms all I am learning and what is right and good in Leadership.

    • Awesome Amber-Lee! That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about here. Keep up the good fight.

  • I won’t compromise in my faith and family.

    I know all too well how easy it could become to lose sight in these two categories.

    I am lacking in health though. I try to justify not going to the gym by writing some more, or reading that last part of the chapter.

    • Awesome Marty! We need more men like you who won’t compromise in those areas.

      As for your health, you mentioned you justify not going by wanting to read that last chapter. Have you considered using audio books while you exercise? That way you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

      • Haha! i think my heart skipped a beat when i realized I didn’t even think of that. Although I feel silly for not using audiobooks, I am thankful for your insight.

        • No need to have your heart skip a beat. It’s easy to pass over this idea as the idea of audio books hasn’t widely been promoted. Yet it’s a huge time saver if we begin using them.

  • Pingback: 3 Areas Young Leaders Should Never Compromise -...()

  • This post reminds me of the Casting Crowns song, “Slow Fade”.
    compromising who we are and what we stand for happens slowly. One step at a time. One decision at a time.
    We must guard our hearts and minds. We must not neglect our salvation. We must stay in the Word and let it be a light unto our feet. We must commit to Christ Daily. Once isn’t enough to keep us on the narrow path.

    • I like that TC. Slow Fade definitely fits the tone of the post.

  • I will never be alone with a woman other than my wife!
    I’m a nice and generous guy; always willing to give someone a ride or help out where-ever. But my rule means asking my wife to drive downtown to pick up the single gal from our church who’s coming over for dinner.
    Before I was married, I was the single guy; The guy who was given the ride home; the guy who reciprocated by buying “her” lunch; The guy who was invited over for dinner with “her & her husband”; The guy who over 3 months gradually became “her” confidante and she became mine. The guy who, by the grace of God, lost my job and had to move, before another 3 months harvested an affair.

    There is never overkill when it comes to protecting one’s personal integrity.

    • Thanks for your open and honest story about the time you were tempted. This can be a hard thing for people to understand. They’ll think you’re being shrewd or old-fashioned. But, honestly, it’s better to be considered that than to fall into temptation. Great job on making a wise choice.