A shortage of leaders is caused not so much by a scarcity of good ones as by a scaring away of the good leaders.
Every year the nomination committee asks my friend Bob to run for a term on the church council. Every year he says, "No, not this year."
Bob would make an ideal board member: He's a mature Christian and natural leader, and he's committed to the church, generously supporting it with both time and money. But Bob remembers the one time he said yes. "The late-night meetings and arguments were more than I could handle," he recalls. "On the way home I'd be frustrated and angry, and the next morning I'd be exhausted at work. Worse, I found myself growing cynical. It took me a couple of years to recover my spiritual equilibrium.
The board at Bob's church was dysfunctional. The symptoms are easily recognized: frequent tardiness, absenteeism, and a perennial problem securing enough qualified people willing to serve. The predictable result is a chronic leadership crisis—a shortage ...1