Too Busy to Lead?

A seminary professor of mine regularly warned us about the “barrenness of busyness.” Now that 2008 is nearly wrapped up, I’m wondering how much of the bad news was related to the busyness of leaders.

Good leaders always seem to have one eye on the vision and another eye below the waterline. They pay attention to small dings, nicks and holes that could grow large enough to one day sink the ship. This doesn’t mean they are micromanaging – they’re not. They are aware.

Think about the headlines you read in 2008. Think about all the different issues leaders are supposed to be aware of, concerned about, dealing with, informed of, executing plans toward, hiring or firing the right people to rectify, etc. Darfur, alternative energy, US politics, mortgage-backed securities, “happy holidays” vs “Merry Christmas,” Orlando school busing schedules, church polity, Tony Romo’s playoff record, neighborhood homeowners paint color palette, Caylee Anthony, Obama cabinet members backgrounds….

Can anyone really be expected, as a leader, to have fully informed convictions on each of these AND take good care of the handful of core issues that are most relevant to their job, family and personal life? I don’t think so.

The result? Shallowness, barrenness, posturing, blameshifting, and loss of opportunity for real progress in a few, very important areas.

May 2009 bring us more focus, less barrenness, and increasing fruitfulness.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

One reply on “Too Busy to Lead?”

Definitely, reminds me of the need for self-management and boundaries. The larger the leadership responsibility, the less time there is for the unimportant and trivial – but those things bombard us every day. In fact, we are made to feel like we must care about everything the same.
At least we don’t have to concern ourselves with updating Tony Romo’s playoff record this year!

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