Have you ever been in a leadership slump? The signs of an impending slump are easy to spot…if you know what to look for.
Every leader hits a slump occasionally. It’s a season when you make a few wrong calls, when you can’t seem to rally people, or when you just don’t seem to be making progress towards goals.
But there are early warning signs that can indicate a slump might be around the corner.
– When Talking and Listening Are Out of Balance
Leaders are communicators. But before launching any course of action, seasoned leaders will listen to, and even solicit, the opinions of trusted voices. “Is there another way to look at this?” “Have we considered all of the angles?”
Effective leaders want answers to these questions. When a leader is doing more talking and not enough listening, a slump could be coming.
– When Action and Discernment Are Out of Balance
A bias towards action is a vital component in the make-up of a leader.
But if that bias toward action is increasingly drowning out the need for discernment, a leadership slump won’t be far behind.
In his book, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, Steven Sample notes that when presented with a problem the first thing he would ask is, “How much time do I have?” Despite a desire to move to action, Sample wanted as much time as possible to think through the issue facing him.
Wise leaders do the same.
– When Emotions and Passions Are Out of Balance
Leaders are people of passion.
But that’s not the same as being overly emotional. Because when a leader is fueled by raw feelings of anger or frustration it can be very easy to make unwise, even foolish, decisions.
If you want to avoid a leadership slump keep your passion high, but your emotions in check.
– When Output and Replenishment Are Out of Balance
There’s a time to keep driving forward. And there’s a time to pause and re-fill your leadership tank.
Leaders must exercise the ruthless discipline to know when it’s time to pull back, to dis-engage, and to replenish their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual tanks.
Keep a watchful eye for these early warning signs. And when you spot them, be quick to take corrective action.
If you do, you really can avoid those pesky leadership slumps.