leadership as creative dissatisfaction

I’m just going to put this one out there:

I’m convinced that good Christian leaders relentlessly pursue creative dissatisfaction.

That means they’re always on the look out for opportunities (which are usually masquerading as problems) and ways to improve what their team is doing.

As Nick Souter puts it in Breakthrough Thinking: Using Creativity To Solve Problems, they ‘fully and visibly embrace the need for “constructive dissatisfaction” and the desire for positive change’ — not just putting this on the agenda but investing themselves in it personally.

It’s not so much that they’re always harping and critical (in a bad, nit-picky way). But they are fearless in confronting reality honestly while remaining hopeful and confident that things can change — for we believe in a risen Lord after all!

Nor is it that they’re the kind of ‘visionary dreamers’ Bonhoeffer rails against in Life Together. Although they aren’t constantly taking the community’s ‘spiritual temperature’ (as Bonhoeffer puts it) and complaining that it isn’t where it should be, they don’t flip out to the other extreme and simply sit on their hands either.

In short, leaders who pursue creative dissatisfaction are pursuing growth. They ache to see people maturing and flourishing as disciples, going from strength to strength as they eagerly await the Lord’s return.

That’s the kind of leader the church needs!

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