The Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Stage Two of Organizational Decline
Great Leadership Lessons, 23

It is not the problem of complacency that leads to decline (according to the research by Collins). It is the undisciplined pursuit of more. Now, before we completely eliminate complacency and laziness - I would like to put in a good word of warning about complacency, for it is indeed a problem that leads to decline.

Complacency and lazines about learning, being developmental of your poeple, thinking about the future, analyzing cultural trends, critical thinking, building teams, deep praying and all the other necessary works of leadership - this will indeed lead to problems. Serious ones.

I know many leaders - they are just unwilling to do the hard work needed for them to grow, to gain skill sets, to improve in their ministry abilities. I knew one leader who consistently turned in a sub-par performance and was completely un-motivated to get better. His company let him go after repeated attempts to help him move into the potential they "thought" they saw. Was it laziness on his part? What it a fear of failure? Was it self-defeating behaviors? Or a combination? However that question is answered about that leader - complacency and plateaued growth was a HUGE issue.

It is just that Collins' research into why Great Companies declined found something else.

Heroic Leadership, Jesuits, Chris LowneyI also want to point out that is not the pursuit of MORE that is the problem. One of my favorite and successful 450 year old companies is the Jesuit Missional Order. Be sure to read Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney to learn about their powerful leadership principles.

Mas. Magis. More. This was a tag line and heart philosophy of the Jesuits. They believed  God has MORE for them. They believed there was always MORE they could do for God. They believed the world always needed MORE (i.e. better, stronger, deeper, qualitiative, quantitative help, guidance, wisdom, love, resources). The Jesuits WERE RIGHT.

More is a powerful promise and a propelling power. You should have the desire for more. You should be committed to having, obtaiing, providing and enjoying MORE. You need to be wisse stewards of the more that God provies. One of the biblical themes is when we are faithful in small things, God will entrust MORE to us. The wise use of the little also produces MORE. We can become careless and take it for granted - but there is indeed room for a Healthy More in the Christian mindset.

But that is not what Collins is talking about. 
Collins is talking about the UNDISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF MORE.

What he means by the undisciplined pursuit of more is tomorrow's post.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International