Leadership and “Coasting”

Coasting - 1Is it ever OK to just coast along for a while?

That is the question that I am pondering this morning.  You see, I am tired.  I am probably not near as tired as some of you.  But I am still tired.

I am thinking right now of a young man who is probably the hardest working guy that I know.  He is up very early every morning and heads out the door long before the sun is even thinking of rising.  I am thinking of a single mom who is doing a great job with a couple of very “energetic” children.

I can only imagine how tired they must be.

I have just finished a very busy phase of a major project that I am working on.  I have a very busy and hectic schedule for the next few weeks.  And then I will have some down time between projects.  But right now, all I want to do is stop peddling and coast for a while.

Do you ever feel that way?  Is ”coasting” ever an option for leaders?  Is it ever acceptable to just to just put things on autopilot and let things run on their own for a while?  If so, how long is an acceptable time to coast?

Coasting - 2Here are my thoughts.

It is physically impossible to be a hard charger every moment of every day.  As leaders we must have some down time.  Perhaps this is the strongest argument for developing young leaders around us.  If we have other leaders around us, we can turn things over to them on a short-term basis while we take a little mental break.  The alternative is not very attractive.  I have seen so many who simply “burn out” and become useless to those that they are called to lead.

So, as leaders, what are we to do?  I don’t make direct Biblical applications to leadership principles very often.  But this one is so obvious it would be silly not to express it.  God himself ordained the Sabbath for rest.  That is “coasting” at its best.  Six days there is to be work.  But on the Sabbath there is to be coasting.

I will leave it up to you to determine what coasting looks like in your life and in your circumstance.  For me it has become reading and having some quiet conversation with my wife.

I am looking for the next time that I can coast.  I think it is overdue.

Photo credit: North Dakota National Guard / Foter / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Zach Dischner / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: North Dakota National Guard / Foter / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

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