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Dealing with the Downers, Dissenters & Dissatisfied
By Roger Hernandez
Leaders want to take everyone with them to the next level. They want to inspire people to go beyond what is now. Since most of us want to be liked, we have a hard time processing resistance. We believe that reasonable people will see the light in the plan we are proposing and enthusiastically support it.

That is hardly ever the case. People are…human. Flawed, imperfect. Just like you! In every organization you will find the supporters, go-getters and on-boarders as well as the downers, dissenters and dissatisfied.

If you spend your time trying to get the last three on board, your train will never leave the station.

Here are three principles to remember when you deal with those three D’s:
  1. It’s ok not to take everyone.
Some can’t go. You can’t require gallon size production from pint sized people.

Some won’t go. They have seen the future and they enthusiastically wish to stay where they are.

Some shouldn’t go. If they did, they would only mess it up for the others.

Leaders recognize the three types and deal with them accordingly. Do me a favor. Repeat to yourself at least three times every day: It’s ok not to take everyone.

The pain of losing the three D’s is always less than the pain they will produce if they come with you. What I am trying to tell you is that it will be painful either way.

You choose.
  1. Ask yourself the hard questions.
You must deal in reality, not make believe. That process starts with asking yourself hard, honest questions. John Maxwell invites leaders to ask themselves the following hard ones:

How much of my energy will I let them take? How much of my time will I let them take? How much of my focus will I let them take? How much of my joy will I let them take? How much of the resources will I let them take? John C. Maxwell. -- Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership
  1. Not your job description.
Don’t you think God has been trying to change those D’s before you even knew them? He hasn’t succeeded yet. What makes you think you can do a better job? When people show you who they are, BELIEVE THEM! If they could have changed, they would have by now. Don’t stop loving them, but understand that maybe it won’t be you leading them.

Roger Hernandez is ministerial director for the Southern Union Conference