the leadership pool may be drying up

I have a theory that the number of quality leaders that are making themselves available to various organizations may be in the process of being reduced.

Many successful business leaders in the private sector are saying “no” to opportunities in the political world. Some of our best physicians are deciding not to practice publicly because of increasing litigation. Pastors of successful churches are declining offers of leadership positions in their denominations or fellowships.

The result of all of this?: The quality of leadership is on the decline. Current leaders, please do not be offended or insulted by this. You are doing an amazing job. But we could use some help, right?

I hear it all the time. In the last three weeks, I have heard people respond to simple leadership opportunities with, “I like my lifestyle, I really don’t want to do anything right now” and “It may be time for us older leaders to step aside and make room for some new leaders.” This is code for, “I am not leading anything”.

It is increasingly difficult to get people to step up and lead. There are some valid reasons:

More is expected from leaders and some people prefer low expectations of themselves.

Leaders are held accountable and some prefer to be unaccountable.

Leaders are responsible for others and some folks prefer to fly solo.

You get the idea.

Here is the problem: as the leadership pool dries up, the quality of our organizations and lives decreases. We are all paying the price.

We need men and women who are not afraid to accept the responsibility of leadership. Not everyone is called to lead but many who are, won’t.

So how about it – are you called to lead something? If so, please give serious consideration to the results before you say no.

2 Replies to “the leadership pool may be drying up”

  1. Leadership = the road less traveled.

    The road less travled = Christ life while he walk the earth.

    Therefore, Christ = leadership.

    So where are we going if we keep turning down opportunities? Hmmmm

  2. I once tried for 2 years to find my replacement in leading a local community organization. I received one response. When I changed the request to asking people to take on individual projects and events, there were many more people interested…like you said though, that all goes back to people not wanting to take long-term responsibility, which isn’t always an option.

    I believe part of the issue is the path to leadership in many organizations is simultaneously too organic and the positions too formal. From what I’ve seen, people are more comfortable with project based/ad hoc leadership opportunities, but still need to see a clear path and concrete preparation for these positions.

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