On day one of the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels asked this question: What is your current leadership challenge? There are three possible answers:
- Appropriately challenged
Where you find yourself determines both your effectiveness and your satisfaction.
Those who are under-challenged are probably bored and playing Angry Birds on their phone. They might be overqualified or simply misplaced. At any rate, those who are underchallenged eventually leave — physically or mentally.
Those who are appropriately challenged may seem to be the happiest, most effective of all. For a while this may be true. But if they are not stretched and asked to grow, they will eventually atrophy or move downward to the under-challenged level.
That leaves the over-challenged level. Ironically, the most effective leaders are those who straddle the area just between appropriate and over-challenged. In other words, they are stretched but not over-stretched. This is where growth occurs.
The danger lies in being at the very top of over-challenged. This leads to burnout, blow-up, or both. While we may hit this ceiling for a season, it is not healthy to live there for long. Those who do will eventually lose their effectiveness.