Six deadly barriers to leadership and mission

The number one roadblock for most organizations is complacency. Allowing complacency to grow can be deadly. Often times, parish leaders and volunteers start out with a high level of enthusiasm for the mission. And then one of two things often happens.

  • The complacency level of the parish is high and so the initiatives of the leadership team sink from lack of broad community interest.
  • Or the leadership team has some initial success, and they themselves become satisfied and complacent.

So how do we shake off complacency and get back to the mission? In his book, Leading Change, John P. Kotter says we have to begin by creating a sense of urgency. But creating urgency is hard. Kotter lists these barriers:

  1. We overestimate our ability to create major changes in the team or the parish
  2. We underestimate how difficult it is to move team members or parishioners out of their comfort zones
  3. We don’t recognize how much we, ourselves, contribute to complacent attitudes
  4. We lack patience
  5. We get scared by the risks involved in pushing too hard for change
  6. We, or the team, or parishioners confuse urgency with anxiety, and then resistance to change increases even more

Does this ring true for you? Do you find yourself or your parish growing complacent? What can we do to start resisting complacency?

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