This summer we started our journey of examining the qualities of a coachable leader. This month we look at the leader's ability to be stretched and pushed out of their comfort zone.
3. Coachable leaders are ready to be stretched
Every leader will hit a series of plateaus in their lives. The key is not to say there, because settling on a plateau can easily lead to an elongated season of comfort. Being comfortable is one of the leader's worst enemies. Rest and comfort are two different things. Rest is a planned temporary time to refresh and refocus the leader. Comfort is when you settle into unproductive routines and accept satisfactory or unsatisfactory results. Robert Clinton writes, "There again is a dynamic tension that must be maintained between leveling off for good reasons, (consolidating one's growth and/or reaching the level of potential for which God has made you) and plateauing because of sinfulness or loss of vision."
Three reasons why leaders 'settle in' rather than being 'stretched forward':
- Loss of energy: Being emotionally and physically exhausted is a real thing in the life of a leader. It is not to be taken lightly. When a leader is at their limit the last thing they want to hear is that they need to change even more. Maintaining good rhythms of rest, exercise and fun create more energy for a leader to be willing and open for change.
- Loss of passion: Spiritual fatigue is also real in the life of those leaders who are responsible for feeding and nourishing the people of God. When a leader forgets to feed their own soul and loses focus on the centrality of the gospel in their own life they lose their motivation to change or to be stretched. Being renewed and refreshed my the mercies of God (Lamentations 3:22-24) fills the leader with hope. Hopefulness in one of the key motivators for personal development.
- Loss of vision: Because the vision and mission of Jesus is so relationally intense and so people focused, it is easy for a leader to lose vision for what is central to the heart of God. Because God's redemptive work is so messy at times spiritual leaders can get "peopled out." They can be overwhelmed with frustration and become emotionally detached from the vision and mission of Jesus. When this happens change will not occur in the life of the leader and they can easily settle in on a plateau and coast along.
Leaders who are ready to be coached bring energy, passion and vision to the coaching relationship so that they can set life stretching goals and significant organizational changes. Energy, passion and vision are key for the leader to live with the great tension between their current reality and their preferred future.
- How would you rate your energy level on a scale of 1(low)-10(high)?
- How many times a week do you exercise?
- What activities energize you?
- Where has your scriptural focus been in the last year?
- Describe the spiritual rhythm you maintain: daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
- Tell me about a God moment you had in your devotional time.
- Who helps you find perspective in the midst of difficult issues?