Recharge, Reinvent, or Resign – Part Two
Leaders in every generation have faced challenges. In the early days of the Jesus movement, church leaders were thrown to the lions (literally!) by Roman emperors. In modern times, leaders have navigated civil wars, civil rights, and economic depressions and recessions. Those are the large, public challenges. Then there’s the personal ones: depression, discouragement, stress, critics, and fatigue. As I survey the leadership landscape at the end of 2021, I believe it is the most challenging extended season of my 30+ years of leading organizations.
I will be addressing three ways a leader can approach this season of life and leadership. Each of them are equally valid, depending on your situation and the needs of your organization. If we lead long enough, we will likely experience all three. Click here to read the first post.
Reinvent Your Leadership
I love our country for many reasons, but here’s one big reason: America is the land of inventions. We tinker, explore, imagine, and create. At this moment, there are people working in their garages or basements trying to figure out a better way of doing something. That something might be brushing your teeth or space exploration. Or a better way of brushing your teeth while in space. The possibilities are endless.
But we are also a land of reinventions, both technological and personal. On the technology front, many of the things we enjoy today were not designed for what we use them to do. WD-40 (Water Displacement, 40th formula) was initially designed to protect the Atlas missiles from rust and corrosion. Today, I use it on squeaky door hinges and hard to twist nuts and bolts.
Not all reinventions are technological; many of them are personal, too. We love the stories of the person who fails in one job only to find success in another. We celebrate cross-over artists, late-bloomers, and second-career people. Many side hustles are reflective of the inner need to reinvent.
Since March of 2020, leaders have been asked to navigate unchartered waters. It’s been tough, physically and mentally exhausting. Even those who have been effective at recharging their batteries are reassessing their roles and responsibilities. I believe that is healthy. In fact, this is something we should be doing as part of our ongoing development. Asking the right questions leads to the right answers: Am I in the right place? Am I doing the right thing?
Over the last two years, I’ve had friends ask those questions and decide to stay put. I’ve also had friends ask those questions and decide to do something different. In some cases, it meant moving to a different industry altogether; in other cases, it was a change in their responsibilities that was necessary.
A good leader won’t be afraid of reinvention.
Depending on your circumstances, it might be possible to reinvent yourself within your current context. What will require? Several things. First of all, permission — if permission is necessary. If you are a solo entrepreneur, it might not be needed. In some contexts, it might require a few conversations. It also means being clear about what you can and cannot delegate. What are the things you must do? What is the organization lacking that you might be able to fill?
Reinvention might mean taking your transferable skills and using them in a different environment — possibly even a different industry, channel, or market. I have a number of friends who took their marketplace experience and skills and transferred them to non-profit work. I know of one fellow who went from being a police officer to a high school teacher. I imagine his classroom management skills are pretty good!
If you’re feeling stagnate, disenchanted, or find it hard to be inspired, reinventing yourself might be just what you need.
Experience and Background
- 25+ years of senior leadership experience
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
Need an engaging speaker for your event or conference? At the moment, I am available on a limited basis to speak for seminars, workshops, or worship services. Click here to learn more.
I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.