Now, that's a tough title for a leadership article? At first glance it might seem that way, but as a New Yorker, that is a mild statement. I write a lot about this in my new book, Leadership Unleashed (Lesson 18), but I want to encourage you with some non-book content. There are many times that I will hear a negative comment about a decision, but I know it's God, so I literally will say, "Screw 'em." Let me be clear, this is not about wanting someone else to fail or to wish bad things on that person. "Screw 'em" is about me doing what God called me to be.
I remember years ago, when I was a youth pastor, I got a lot of hate from people in the church because of the problem students we were attracting. This was in upstate New York. Members of the church went to the pastor and began to start rumors about me and explain to the pastor that they did not like the 'new' students that were now among their Christian children. "They are going to drag our kids down." It was a tough season, but my pastor, at the time, Paul Bartholomew, stood beside me, defended me, and defended those new students. The youth group continued to grow and the 'church troublemakers' left. Basically, Pastor Paul said about these church members, "Screw 'em." I am forever grateful to Paul Bartholomew for standing beside me during that season.
I like what my friend, Joel Osteen, says, "If you make God happy it does not matter who you make unhappy." Yes, that's a lot cleaner version of "screw 'em," but hey I am a New Yorker. We talk straight, fast, direct, and honest. You see, God does not want you living to please people. I learned several decades ago that I will never make everyone happy. But that's not my goal, and that should not be your goal either.
Listen to what the Scripture says, "Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant" (Galatians 1:10). Notice, those who please people will never be able to fulfill their purpose as "Christ's servant." Every servant has a calling, but if I choose to be a slave to people's opinions, I will never be able to fully be Christ's servant.
If I cared what other people thought I would not have:
planted a church
purchased our first building
take a run down building
bought an old synagogue
purchased our next location
The greatest ways to stay stuck in your life is to focus on the opinions of others. And the opinions of others will imprison you from the opportunities God puts in front of you. There is not way I would be where I am today, with who I am, doing what I do if I cared so much about what other people think.
As a leader, you will have to live to please an audience of one - God. At the end of your life on planet earth you will not stand before people, you will stand before God. That means, our ultimate aim should be to do what God asks us to do, even if we do it alone. That's why strong leaders will always "screw what other people think" when they know that God called them to do what they have been called to do.
So, get out there and live the life you always dreamed about. No matter what the haters or doubters say or do. They did not create your destiny and they cannot cancel it. Screw 'em.