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We plan to make this portion a source of leadership perspective or practical interaction that today’s leaders are searching for answers in. This month’s article is from Dr. Mark Rutland’s book RELAUNCH, HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK: Excerpts from the EPILOGUE


The costs of effective leadership, to my way of thinking, are well worth paying, but don’t forget that there are some results for which the price is far too high. Success shouldn’t cost you your family, nor should your family pay the price for your success. Leadership shouldn’t make you sinful or insane. It shouldn’t destroy the balance of your life.

Someone once said that in leadership the only thing worse than failure is success. The thinner you are stretched on the surface, the more toxic your inner life becomes. Don’t be deceived about this.

Are you spending most of your leadership energy on the outside? Then go back on the inside. Remember those things that are real. Hold to them. Do them again. Carve out time for your soul, your true self, and your most precious relationships. You’ve heard all this before, haven’t you? Can you hear it now from an executive who peered into the abyss and found light on the other side?

This leads to the most important truth I have learned about staying healthy as a leader. Stay free in God’s hand. There was only one thing that kept me sane during those hard years I spent as pastor of Calvary Church. Every Sunday morning as I walked to the pulpit I prayed, “Lord, I didn’t ask for this position, and I don’t have to have it. If today is the day to leave it, I’m good with that.” That realization kept me loose.   It kept me from acting out of fear. It made it possible for me to make hard decisions. When I made mistakes, that liberty made it possible for me to keep going. Of course I preferred success to failure, but I did not live in fear of failure.

If your sense of self is completely tied up in your role as leader of your organization, you won’t be able to keep a loose hold on you position. What we grasp most tightly becomes deformed. You will start to fail, and you may ride that failure all the way to the ground in a fiery crash.

If one part of turnaround leadership is hanging on, pressing through, or giving up before the mission is accomplished, another part is knowing when to ride off into the sunset, leaving things in good order so the next leader can look like a genius.