According to Robert Hogan, an industrial psychologist and professor, two-thirds of the people currently in leadership will fail; they will be fired, demoted, or “kicked upstairs.” The most common reason will be their inability to build or maintain a team. (Hogan defines leadership as “the capacity to build and maintain a high-performance team.”) Why? Certain dysfunctional tendencies, which lie outside their awareness and are invisible, only reveal themselves when people are under significant stress or lack rest. These deeply ingrained personality traits cause smart, well-intentioned leaders to act in illogical ways — making poor decisions, alienating key people, missing opportunities, and overlooking obvious trends around them. I have seen many church leaders rise and fall over the last three decades. A friend who teaches leadership at Harvard and Stanford recently introduced me to the research around this theme. See Why CEOs Fail (Dotlich and Cairo). Every leader has significant vulnerabilities and derailers. Great ones. Read more.
I shared this devotional with our NLF staff team yesterday at our spring retreat. Jesus models for us what it means to be true to ourselves rather than follow the voices and demands of those around us (see Mark 1:35-38). May Sarton’s poem provides a unique medium to wrestle with that process. Be sure to take some time with the questions that follow. Now I Become Myself (by May Sarton) Now I become myself. It’s taken Time, many years and places;I have been dissolved and shaken,Worn other people’s faces,Run madly, as if Time were there,Terribly old, crying a warning,‘Hurry, you will be dead before-‘(What? Before you reach the morning?Or the end of the poem is clear?Or love safe in the walled city?)Now to stand still, to be here,Feel my own weight and density!The black shadow on the paperIs my hand; the shadow of a wordAs thought shapes the shaperFalls heavy on the page, is. Read more.