One of my favorite writers is Liz Wiseman. She has spoken at the Willow Creek Summit a couple of times. She has authored these two great books that I love… Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter and Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. In one chapter of Rookie Smarts she lists 10 signs that might indicate you need a new challenge. As you read these, ask yourself if they reflect your current world.
10 Signs a Leader Needs a New Challenge*
As you read each one, mentally check the ones true of you.
- Things are running smoothly.
- You are consistently getting positive feedback.
- Your brain doesn’t have to work hard to be successful.
- You don’t prepare for meetings because you already know the answers.
- You’ve stopped learning something new every day.
- You are busy but bored.
- You’re taking longer showers in the morning and you take your time getting to work.
- It makes you tired to think you could be doing the same job a year from now.
- You’ve become increasingly negative and can’t identify why.
- You’re spending a lot of time trying to fix other people’s problems.
So how many did you check?
Liz says that two or more of these experiences indicate you need to, ‘renew your rookie smarts,’ (approach your ministry with a beginner’s mindset to become a better learner). And if three or more are true of you, you need a new challenge.
When I read this list, it made me think deeply about how I approach my role as a lead pastor.
- I don’t want to get stuck on cruise control because things may go well.
- I don’t want to look back one day and realize I squandered God-given opportunities because I was taking the path of least resistance.
- I don’t want to get too comfortable by using what worked well before.
- I don’t want to become so drained by other people’s problems that I have little energy to think into the future.
- I do want to approach each day from a possibility mindset, how God can use me to make an eternal Kingdom impact.
As you lead, guard against becoming complacent and comfortable.
Relish your wins.
Enjoy the successes God gives you.
Take joy in God’s pleasure in you.
And ponder and heed these words of Joshua.
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Josh. 1.8, NLT)
What would you add to this list that might indicate a leader needs a new challenge?
*list from Wiseman, Liz. Rookie Smarts (Enhanced Edition): Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work (p. 165). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.