Your direct reports may drive you crazy, but …


Have you ever gotten to the point where you feel as though you just can’t take it any longer?  The people that report to you are driving you nuts.

Not only is your day filled with meeting after meeting, but, at times, you can almost feel the weight of all the corporate pressures and responsibilities upon you.  No doubt, you carry a heavy burden.  But on top of all that are the people.  Around you are people that seem to offer an endless stream of complaining, doubting, accusing, and frustrating you.

Too often, they camp out on minor irritations that bother them.

Or, they fail to appreciate all you do behind the scenes for them.

Or, they accuse you of being just out for yourself, not realizing all that you do for those that report to you

Or, they are spreading rumors that your intentions are really to sabotage the organization and the people


If you have reports that drive you nuts at time, you are not alone.  Think of the man, Moses, back in the Old Testament. His fellow Israelites were like the people I mentioned above. At times, they too, drove him crazy.

(the following verses are from the ESV Bible version with the bold font added)

Numbers 11:1 a -11 And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes,

Numbers 12:1-2a Miriam and Aaron (Moses’s siblings and fellow influencers to the Israelites) spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.2 And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?

Numbers 14:1-4 -Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Numbers 14:10a -10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones.


For more verses, if you are interested:  Ex. 2:14, 5:21, 16:3, 17:3, Numbers 14:41-45, 16:13…. (many more verses could be listed)


If you can take a step back with me to look at this situation, we can see that the people were very, very difficult to lead.  However, Moses was not responsible for each and every person’s behavior. Moses was called by God to do a job. He was called to first of all, have a righteous relationship with the Holy, Living God for his sake. Then, Moses was to humbly look to God for help to do his job well.  To be the best leader he could be, Moses would need God’s patience, His wisdom, His love, His perseverance, His strength. Moses’ job was not going to be easy, but his responsibility was to be faithful to the job he was called to and not to follow the whining attitude of those he sought to lead.  Although understandable, the difficult people he was leading did not give him an excuse for him to do any bad behavior before God.

This point of Moses’ responsibility is clearly seen in the following passage where Moses once again gets his buttons pushed by the Israelites in Numbers 20:2-5 – Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.”

This time Moses had enough. Now, his frustration at dealing with this stubborn and rebellious people boiled over.

Number 20:10-13-Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy

For 40 years, Moses dealt with an extremely hard group to lead, yet God did not let him off the hook, even after years of a stellar performance,  when he took matters in to his own hands and struck the rock, and treated God in an unholy kind of way.

My point in this blog is to urge you on as leaders to keep your eye on God and fulfilling your responsibilities in the most excellent way you can.  You are not responsible for each and every person’s conduct who reports to you, but you are responsible for your’s.

Use the frustrations with your team that will occur as a prompting to communicate in a much closer way with God, as well as other leaders that fully understand what you are going through.  Look to continue as a positive example of leadership, and striving for moving your team forward, as opposed to giving in to the least desirable behaviors you see exhibited by those on your team.  Keep above the fray.


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