Leadership professor Bobby Clinton has conducted extensive research revealing that only one-third of leaders finish well. Clinton observes that many of the issues that derail leaders include misuse or abuse of finances, abuse of power, pride, sexual misconduct, unhealthy family relationships, wounding, or a plateau in personal growth.
So what does it take to finish well as a leader? Reflecting on Clinton’s research, I would suggest six keys:
1. The Right Purpose: Leaders who finish well have a clear sense of destiny and recognize the life purpose for which God created them.
2. The Right Priorities: Leaders understand that balance in key areas of life is essential to finishing strong. These priorities include areas such as intimacy with Christ, family strength, and key responsibilities that contribute to health.
3. The Right People: Finishing well does not happen on an island alone. Leaders embrace a network of coaching and mentoring relationships to help them in the journey. These relationships may be a combination of intensive, occasional, and distant mentors.
4. The Right Plan: Leaders maintain a deep commitment to lifelong learning by developing a plan for personal development. Leaders who finish well recognize that a learning posture is essential for continuous improvement and breaking through growth plateaus.
5. The Right Practices: Leaders who finish well embrace spiritual disciplines and lead by example. They operate from a base of influence shaped by spiritual authority.
6. The Right Parameters: To finish strong requires leaders to establish clear boundaries. These parameters and accountability safeguards help leaders maintain purity and avoid the abuse of people, money, and power.
The odds are stacked against leaders when it comes to finishing well. But it is possible. Will you be in the one-third who finish strong? Which of the six ingredients above are missing in your life? Which is your greatest strength?