Here’s a really quick post — a paragraph that leapt off the page while I was preparing another post.
The authors of The Ascent of a Leader report some striking research that is a reality check for leaders who become complacent about their leadership. I’ve added my own two cents’ worth in italics and included links to posts I’ve written on the topics. Here’s the paragraph:
“After having conducted extensive research, Dr. J. Robert Clinton, professor of leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, believes that more than 70 percent of leaders do not finish well. He bases this startling statistic on six criteria, gleaned from common traits among leaders who do not finish well according to their self-analysis, the analysis of their peers and followers, or the teachings of their professed religion.
- First, leaders who do not finish well lose their learning posture. They stop listening and growing.
- You should be continually re-inventing yourself. I’ve now been through two contract renewals at CCCC and each time I have asked the board to advise me on what kind of leadership is required for the next five years so that I can determine “Am I already that leader, can I become that leader or do they need another leader?” Here’s a post on how to stay fresh as a leader. Learning and growing requires you to admit that you don’t know everything and you are not yet perfect. That requires humility, so be humble! Check for blind spots and admit you may not always be right. A great way to begin learning and growing is to write a case study about a situation you are experiencing right now!
- Second, the attractiveness of their character wanes.
- This is due to the old adage I’ve just written about: that power is a corrupting influence on character.
- Third, they stop living by their convictions.
- Fourth, they fail to leave behind ultimate contributions.
- Step back and think about how your contribution will be perceived a century later. Your contribution should be to leave a strong, healthy ministry adaptable enough that it will be capable of continuing its mission as the uncertain future unfolds.
- Fifth, they stop walking in an awareness of their influence and destiny.
- Finally, leaders who finish poorly lose their once vibrant relationship with God.
- I’ve written about how a leader can maintain an intimate, vital relationship with God. You must be aware of the public consequences of your personal spirituality and you should take a personal spiritual retreat at least annually. If you’ve lost your sense of intimacy with God, perhaps this post will help you out.
Take care of these issues, and you should expect to finish your ministry career well and enjoy seeing significant fruit from your labours.