Monday, July 12, 2010

Leaders burn out because they stop learning.

Least you think the only blogger I'm reading at the moment is Len Hjalmarson, be assured that isn't the case. But the following paragraphs from a recent post were worth repeating:

A few years ago I read that many leaders stop learning around the age of thirty-five. There are many reasons: pace is a big one. We demand much of our leaders, and so we push them into action mode where it becomes difficult for them to find time for contemplation, reading, travel, and the kinds of things that root intentional learning.
Yet the verb (mathetes, “disciple”) means “learner..”
Leaders burn out because they stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing, and we get stuck. We end up as pragmatists, defending a status quo because we no longer have the energy or ability to imagine other worlds.
This in turn makes it very difficult to open space for others. We lose the ability to be hospitable, to open conversation that generates learning for others. Stuck leaders = stuck system.

"Leaders burn out because they stop learning." Do you believe that? I'm sure it's not the only reason, but it's certainly one that's worth considering....


Anne Thomson said...

And this Sunday's gospel reading is Mary and Martha, which seems relevant. Distractions and worries, or the 'one thing'.

Mike Crowl said...

Fair enough, Anne. I'm one of those people who tend to side with Martha - I can just see her with a crowd of bodies arriving on the doorstep, trying to get everything to cook at once in the kitchen, finding she's doing it all on her own (no doubt Lazarus wasn't a regular visitor to the kitchen either), and then getting totally frustrated....and worse, getting an answer from Jesus that implies she's not even doing the right thing anyway.

I often wonder what her answer was...or did she get the picture better than I tend to do?