Self control and Leadership

Adedolapo Olisa
5 min readOct 16, 2021


The importance of having a leader that the group can trust to make decisions that are best for the group and not to protect self interest.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m about to vent.

It all starts with recognizing that I am a flawed human. It all sucks that it revel in my flaws.

My entirely goal is to be a poster child for flawed, messed up, quirky and impactful living.

Grace gave me an out. I like grace because I thought Grace meant freedom to live right, freedom to live wrong. Just freedom.

God is gonna use who He is gonna use and it has nothing to do with me. It sounds good, and I like the sound of it but it’s just not true.

If all men are full of sin, why is it that pastors act perfect and preach perfection when we all know they are flawed people behind closed doors.

See, there is flaws, personality flaws; then there is flaws, character flaws. The two are not different. A woman who gets angry is not the same as a man who sleeps around.

I really hate this fact especially because Grace seems to suggest otherwise but the truth is, there is no getting away with it.

In the eyes of God, the two flaws might be grounds for condemnation apart from Christ and the Cross. But in the eyes of men, they are not.

A leader can be a man who gets mad and yells at me; but a leader cannot be a person who I am afraid would sleep with my spouse.

I used to say that I could never date or be involved with a co worker or employee; because that is just asking for a mess. It was easy because I made that commitment when I had tremendous self control. I was doing well spiritually.

Well, two employees later, I realize that I have a character flaw. At first it was open and honest communication. Then the communication became too personal. In one case, I saw her WhatsApp DP and said, I am never gonna develop a personal relationship with her because that is just asking for trouble. One year later, we needed to work together and things got too digital steamy. Turns out she had been intrigued by me for so long but there was no space to foster anything until we got to work together.

One moment of Indiscretion and the conversation went south. I crossed the line. Then I started to do the David thing. I was looking for every opportunity to highlight her incompetence just so I can make the case to chase her away. I felt so wrong; I felt so dirty; but truly what I was humbled by was my lack of self control. This is a trait I have always prided myself in. The truth though is a combination of being in the wrong frame of mind, testing the wrong waters, and wrong vulnerability; recipe for disaster.

I noticed a pattern before that. If I find a woman attractive, the way to protect myself is to admit it to myself, voice it to her and that nips it in the bud. This method works well for someone who is shy and or uninterested. It’s a lighting rod for one who is bold and interested. Better to carry your emotions and lust to a therapist or a close friend than to “be honest.” Some honesty just creates trouble.

I digress. I am so proud of my leadership team and the leaders in my team because they had no idea what was going on but they stood for fairness and rebutted every attempt I took. Even when there were grounds, they chose to act in grace. Eventually, I had to face my new reality and lean into my discomfort. I had to learn to lead out of the mess I created by humbling myself and accepting my faults and leveraging a different kind of honesty. One that isn’t one sided or self seeking.

In the midst of this episode, I was a terrible leader, I vacated principles that I thought I firmly believed in. Principles that I felt were deeply rooted in me nothing will ever shake it. I came to realize that self control is a powerful ally to fairness and grace; whereas self interest is a formidable enemy to the collective interest.

I remember how ashamed I felt when I told one of our leaders about it. And asked for accountability. I remember the feeling of disqualification. How can I hold a meeting with this person on the call and speak with a straight face. How could I pretend to the rest of the team that I was a fair leader that had their best interest. How could I truly say that we are living our mission to be a physical extension of a graceful God when I had plotted to deprive someone their livelihood just because I felt into lust.

Anger is different. So many other sins are different but sins that override self control. These are incompatible with leadership.

Dolapo, I’m sorry to break it to you; you cannot desire to preach God’s word or lead a young adults group or any group with male and female when you have an ongoing battle with lust.

I feel that sounds wrong and harsh. Come on, we are all human. See this is true. We are all humans but I believe, unless all other leadership candidates are struggling with self control and it’s a matter of picking who had it worse, because a leader is needed and no one is waking free of the strong holds of lust, pride and self control. Then maybe, sure. But the truth still stands.

A leader is a servant with influence harnessed to put the interest of others above ones needs, and to strive for the betterment of the group.

Few things pierce that balance found in interest quite like a lack of self control.

Lead your desires, don’t let your desires lead you.



Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.