Are You Plateaued?

Few leaders finish well. Maybe as few as one in three. And this was true of the leaders described in the Bible as well. Whether you’re leading a family, a church, a team, or a business, it is difficult and God’s wisdom is needed if we are to do what it takes to finish well. How can we keep from plateauing and burning out as leaders?

Just finished Neil Cole’s latest book, Journey’s to Significance: Charting a Leadership Course from the Life of Paul. In the
last chapter he describes a plateaued leader who’s on the way to burn out or worse:

He says plateaued leaders…

  1. Avoid relationships of personal accountability. How many degrees of separation are there from you and other leaders?
  2. Have infrequent personal application of God’s word. Are you mastering a subject or following and pursuing a King?
  3. Have seen joy, peace, and love replaced with envy and resentment. Is your character being shaped by Christ or by the opinions and actions of others?
  4. Frequently look for greener pastures in other places. Are you too focused on the circumstances around you to bring transformation to the place God has called you?
  5. More easily find fault in others than in themselves. Do you give others as much grace as you give yourself?
  6. Are burned out from lots of activity that has been substituted for intimacy with Christ. Are you exhausted from thinking more effort and more activity will bring you more blessings from God?
  7. Compromise ethical principles once held dear. Are you taking liberties that you once would not, because of entitlement?
  8. Stay within safe areas of expertise rather than branching out into new learning endeavors. Does the idea of learning something new make you afraid or proud?
  9. Are teachers and experts more than learners. Are you easily offended when instruction and advice comes from others?
  10. Have reduced the Christian life to the rut of a routine. Can your Christian walk be described as a few do’s and many don’ts?
Here’s a few list from J. Robert Clinton that shows what goes into making a leader who finishes strong. One from Cole’s book and one that I’ve kept in a close by file for the last few years:
Five factors that enhance a leader’s chances of finishing well:
  • Perspective. They are focusing their energies on consistency over the course of their lives.
  • Renewal. They take time to refresh and renew and rest and reconnect with God.
  • Discipline. “Finishing well over the course of a lifetime is not accidental but intentional” ~ Cole.
  • Learning. They maintain a learning posture throughout their lives.
  • Mentoring. They mentor others and are mentored themselves.
  1. They maintain a personal vibrant relationship with God right up to the end.
  2. They maintain a learning posture and can learn from various kinds of sources.
  3. They manifest Christ-likeness in character as evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
  4. Truth is lived out in their lives so that convictions and promises of God are seen to be real.
  5. They leave behind one or more ultimate contributions.
  6. They walk with a growing awareness of a sense of destiny and see some or all of it fulfilled.
What are your thoughts? or comments? What else have you seen in the lives of those who have finished well or that did not that we can learn from?

Posted on September 6, 2011, in Books worth reading, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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