Unclaimed Greatness

Jim Collins in Good to Great, writes a very interesting chapter on “Level 5 Leaders.”  I’ll define it with some excerpts from this chapter summary…

  • Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.
  • Level 5 leaders set up their successors for even greater success in the next generation, whereas egocentric Level 4 leaders often set up their successors for failure.
  • Level 5 leaders look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. When things go poorly, however, they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility.

Collins’ insights speak greatly to an internal battle I’ve been wrestling with for a year now.  I’ve been wondering if my church has gotten their money’s worth out of hiring me.  I mainly work with small groups and pastoral care… both of which have improved since my arrival.  The part that gets me though is that I can’t correlate my efforts to the ministry’s success.  I’m not sure I’ve done anything of any consequence!

I need to back-up.  If the mark of a great leader is an inability to claim the end product, then neither should a great leader claim the progress of that product.  I’m getting back to measuring success by how the church is doing, not how I’m doing at helping the church.  May all glory go to God.

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One response to “Unclaimed Greatness

  1. I think that my/your success should be measured by “how am I doing at serving God and fulfilling his mission” both in my personal life and in my job. You are employed by a church and I am not; yet I think we should evaluate our successes at being a leader for God in a similar fashion. I guess that it can be harder for you to distinguish between your success at serving God vs your success at serving your church (your employer) … but hopefully they intersect: if you are successful at serving God you are successful at serving your church as well.
    So maybe we should let God be most concerned with the increase (the growth) so that we can focus on simply doing what he wants.

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