It was painful to watch Presidential hopeful, Rick Perry, go blank. He couldn’t remember the area of government (energy) he was going to cut if he became President.
We’ve all been there (maybe not on national television). It’s a traumatic experience to look at an audience and blank out the key point you are trying to expound upon.
I thought he handled it well. Laugh. What else can you do at a time like that? Your mind let you down. You know it, they know it: so go with it.
Leaders are sometimes misconstrued as being miscue free. Even worse, some leaders take on that persona and present themselves in a way that feeds this farce. When those types do trip, they spill their sensitive self-image all over their nice white shirt; leaving them reeling with the revelation that they too are human. Dabbing the spreading stain with professional speak won’t help. Don’t try to hide the stain – use it.
This type of leader intimidates emerging leaders into submerging back into the shadows. If we present a picture of leadership that offers no latitude to laughable moments, those we lead aren’t going to be likely to stick their necks out, in fear that they will be doing the headless chicken dance.
If you end up doing a chicken dance, we’ll let you keep your head. Sure, we will enjoy the moment with you, but every leader is much more than their second of stammering lips.
If you can’t laugh at yourself every once in a while you are too self-conscious. Laugh at yourself too much and people lose respect for you. There is a happy medium. When you’ve made an obvious blunder, laugh for a second. It takes the nervous tension right out of the room and people will loosen up and readily receive what you’ve got to say next.
God purposefully said He didn’t call many smart, strong, or noble. Many are thankful that He used the word many. Thankfully the kingdom of God does have many well-versed, educated leaders that lead with excellence.
It takes one to know one
I do know that every human God called is human.
We tend to reveal our humanity at the worst of times. The saving grace is that we minister to other humans.
In my experience in ministry, it isn’t a big deal to people when you reveal that you are human. The only time it is a big deal is if you refuse to acknowledge you did space out your point. Or say a slang word when you were hoping for a spiritual one.
Don’t be the type of audience that can’t remember a single point your pastor preached last year, but still laugh about that time when he said whatever he said.
Keep it real.
Laugh and move on.