As the wisdom of Ecclesiastes states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” And herein lies a principle that all good leaders ought to appreciate: you can do anything… for a season. Whenever we take on a new role, a new project or a new team we have to take this into consideration. To explain, let me share a little about myself.
I am drawn towards entrepreneurial opportunities. I’ve worked for young businesses and churches. When I’ve worked for an established company or congregation it has always been on new projects, new divisions. But new starts always require lots of work with few resources and, most often, by fewer people. It can be tiring but its the kind of work I’ve found I love and thrive within. But I’ve also burnt myself out on many such endeavors. Along the way, I’ve learned to say a simple phrase that is inspired by Ecclesiastes 3: “I can do anything… for a season.”
To be an effective leader you need to be able to see the end of the “season.” When we can’t see the end we burn out, burn others out and, sometimes, we break things that are irreparable… on this side of eternity at least. If we want to be healthy people and cultivate healthy teams and worthwhile projects or products we have to be able see the end. Sometimes thats a deadline that only you can establish. Sometimes its knowing when its time to give up or quit before you self-destruct. Sometimes its knowing when to “pass-the-torch” or hand things over to someone else after having modeled how something was to be done for a period of time. This is what separates the delegators from the megalomaniacs; the loved from the the feared leaders. Which will you be? – JE