Do You Have a Kill Switch?


Boldness and courage are critical traits of great leaders. But a "kill switch" is good only if it's used for the good of the organization.

There are times in the life of a leader when a kill switch is a good thing. I want the leader of the organization or the leader of the team to be able to make the really tough call that will save the day. Boldness and courage are necessary traits of a great leader. But a kill switch is only good if you can keep it under control.

Do you know someone who has a “kill switch”? I’m very competitive and I always want to win, but when it comes to games and sports I don’t have a kill switch.

I played racquetball for about seven years through my thirties. I played against guys who were better than me but I never gave up even if the score was far in their favor. I played hard to win, but in the end it was just a game to me. Some would say that cost me the winning edge, and in some ways I’m sure that’s true.

To some of my opponents, however, it was more than a game. If I was winning, something clicked inside them. It was as if their eyes flipped red and nothing else mattered. They would do anything to win. Their kill switch was on!

A good leader doesn’t use this notion of a killer instinct as an excuse to be angry or get their way. A good leader keeps that switch under control and only uses it for the good of the organization and to help other people.

The idea of a kill switch may sound negative to you, but that’s only if it’s against you. If it’s for you, it’s awesome. If you invest in a business, you want the CEO to have a kill switch! If you are battling cancer you want a doctor who has a kill switch fighting for you and refusing to give up. Heck, I want the senior pastor of our church to have a kill switch! That means at the right times, when needed, a bold vision can be cast for the good of the entire church where other leaders might pull back!

Do you have a kill switch? How do you know if it’s under control? Here are five quick points to help you know the answer to that question.

  • It’s used only for the good of others.
  • It’s prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • You don’t use it to get your way.
  • You have measurable Kingdom success from past kill switch moments.
  • Many people thank you for that particular leadership moment.

I Timothy 3:1 states that leadership is a worthy ambition. It’s also true that leaders have drive. They have vision. They want to take new territory! How you go about that makes a huge difference!


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