Failure (Pt. 2) - Why We Fail

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(Pt. 1 here)

There is one major reason why we fail. In a word, it’s LEADERSHIP. We experience failure when there is no true leadership. Here is a partial list of reasons leadership is important and how to avoid failure:

Leadership provides something essential to success. Leadership provides (and requires) vision. A real vision will convey direction, purpose, focus. Without a clear vision everyone is going their own direction, doing their own thing. This lack of vision leads to frustration and eventually people will give up, quit, and move on. In order to avoid this kind of failure you have to actually lead. Help people to see the vision, get behind it, and work in the same direction. This vision doesn’t necessarily need to be new and revolutionary, but it does need to communicated with passion and communicated often.

While it’s possible for the vision to be sound, if both leaders and workers get too comfortable in the routine of the work failure is inevitable. With most of us with comfort comes laziness. We should all be able to admit that this is a tendency we all have from time to time; to coast, to settle. We get comfortable in the answers we have and stop learning and growing. This is a form of pride where we think we have it all figured out. The only way to avoid failure in this way is to take the posture of a student and continue to learn, not settling for what is, but always asking what could be.

We also experience failure when the situation changes and we fail to adapt. In the church context, this could be a change in leadership, direction, or even as a result of growth. While routine is good, a rut is not. Don’t simply do things the same way because that’s how they’ve always been done, but be willing to adapt to new realities. While we can all admit that change is hard, it’s also necessary. Be willing to make the hard decisions in the light of these new realities. Don’t be so stubborn and inflexible that you miss out on new opportunities to see the vision flourish.

Finally, leaders fail when they refuse to delegate. We can't do it all, nor are we called to. There are times when others can do some tasks better than the leader. As a leader, our job is to train others up (Eph. 4:12). Don't be afraid to ask for help, especially in areas of weakness. A mark of a good leader is doing what only they can do and delegating everything else that others could do.

What are some other reasons we fail? Leave a comment and join the discussion.

Book Review: 5 Habits of a Healthy Marriage by Ryan Fredrick

Failure (Pt. 1) - When We Think We Fail