3 Reasons NOT to Accept that New Leadership Role

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Updated from August 29, 2013 post

Before you jump at that new leadership position you’ve been offered, consider three reasons you should consider staying right where you are.

I once interviewed a leader in his mid-30’s for a position in the large church where I served as executive pastor.

He was bright. He was professional. He was educated. He was personable.

But something on his resume concerned me.

“Tell me about your leadership experience,” I said to him.

“Well,” he began with a sense of confidence. “I have 15 years of leadership experience.”

I looked back at his resume.

“I’m not so sure about that,” I stated slowly. “You’ve worked in 5 different churches so far, correct?”

“Yes,” he said.

I looked up from the resume and said, “Well, it seems to me you don’t really have 15 years experience. It seems that you have what others have called ‘ three years experience, repeated five times’.”

This leader was so talented, it was no wonder that every few years he would receive job offers from other ministries. But the fact that he seemingly accepted these offers each time meant that he was missing out on a critical component of a leader’s development.

He was missing out on longevity.

You see, there are certain elements in a leader’s development that only accrue when one has remained in the same organization for six, seven, eight years or more.

When you stick it out in your leadership role over a long period of time, you benefit by developing:

  • Fortitude

Leadership can knock you around a bit. Staying in the same leadership role for the long haul can “toughen you up” as you survive the hard times.

  • Deep loyalty

Anyone who has remained in a leadership role over many years has learned to develop fierce loyalty to those they lead, and those they lead up to.

  • Time-tested momentum

There’s just something that happens several years into a leader’s time that produces exponential results. And you only realize these results when you stay in your role over time.

My point is not that you should never look for greener pastures. Just be sure to factor in your own development before you jump at that next offer.

You might develop most by staying right where you are.

How has longevity (or frequent movement) affected your leadership?


the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow, Olive & Charlie and John, Fiona, Will & Harvey. Lifelong learner.

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