In a day where commitment is hard to find, it is great to see a person who will stick it out not matter what. Most people are committed until it gets hard, and then they feel a desire to go on to other responsibilities. Years ago, people would join a company at the ground level, work their way up through the ranks, and one day retire. Today is much different. Most people will work for a dozen different organizations or ministries in their lifetime.
There are rewards and opportunities with longevity that you will not find by moving. There are also, setbacks and detriments to consider.
1- Shows Stability – When people are looking to join or do business with an organization one of the first things they look at is the leadership. If the leadership is in constant turnover, it says something is not right in the organization. People are looking to be part of something stable because so much of their lives are already unstable.
2- Gives Credibility – Longevity says this organization is a place I can trust. Credibility is essential. You lose it, you lose everything else. People feel comfortable that the leadership has a vision and knows how to carry it out. When the leader has a few “wins” under his/her belt, others will join in. No one wants to be on a losing team, and no team can consistently win without credible leadership.
3- Creates Durability – When the leader has proven himself, it deflects those who say the negative. The leadership has been tried and true. They have weathered the storms and are still afloat. It says to those on the outside, “These people are for real.” Most followers will never understand the complete vision of the organization. They will follow and work to complete a vision when they believe the leader understands it and is willing to do the hard things to carry out it.
4- Demands Accountability – One of the detriments of a leader with longevity is that he can become dictatorial and on an island to himself. Everyone needs accountability. It is the checks and balance system on which our government is founded. It helps a leader know when he is drifting off focus and vision. With longevity comes stagnation. A leader will tend to do things today like he did it yesterday. That no longer works. A wise leader with longevity will surround himself with other leaders with creativity and accountability.
5- Can become a Liability – This builds from the last point. If as a leader all you are doing is “buying time”, you need to step down. If you don’t have the passion and vision to stay ahead of those following, you have lost control. One of the characteristics of leadership is the ability to stay ahead of the curve. An organization needs more than a purpose and destination; it needs someone knowledgeable and able to take it there.
What do you think?