Insecure?


I have been encountering a lot of people showing signs of major insecurity recently. Part of that is an occupational hazard, working as I do to facilitate leadership transitions in nonprofit organizations. Most candidates are made very uncomfortable by the long delays that often occur in the search and selection process, generally through no fault of their own. In one of my searches, a very strong candidate was identified as the top candidate nearly 4 months ago, and he is most excited about this possible new position as CEO. But things have stalled out due to funding problems with the organization that the board is determined to work out before making any commitments. This candidate’s current job ends this month, so he is very concerned about what he should do next. Should he hold out and wait for this job he would love, if and when it becomes available, or take another job that he might enjoy less but is offered in the meantime.

In several of the searches I have been working on this spring, the staff of the organizations who plan to continue under a new leader have exhibited similar signs of insecurity, even though their boards of directors are acting responsibly. They don’t know, and should not know in any detail, what is happening with the search process, so are anxious about who their new boss might be and whether he or she will value their work and role, or if changes may threaten their job. Some of them have even acted up and tried to insert themselves inappropriately into communications with the candidates or in making ultimatums to the board about what changes they will not accept. They feel insecure and act up, not unlike children who sometimes just push to see what they can get away with. It is hard to trust when you don’t have information or confidence in what might happen.
In the face of these experiences, I have been thinking about the words of another old Swedish hymn from my youth. I hope they speak to you as they do to me.

Why should I be anxious, I have such a friend,
Who bears in my heart all my woe.
This friend is the Saviour, on him I depend,
His love is eternal, I know.

Though I am unworthy he chose even me,
By grace in his kingdom to dwell;
That grace so abundant my refuge will be –
Thy goodness, O God, I would tell.

His mercy, I know, is sufficient for me,
And therein my soul finds its peace;
He chastens with love, ever patient is he,
My joys through his blessing increase.

Lord, help me to trust you when I am feeling insecure and anxious, and not project those anxieties onto others. Thank you for your mercy and abundant grace that are sufficient!

Dave Erickson-Pearson

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