Don’t do this daily because it requires you to pull away from daily responsibilities for deep thinking and can throw you out of your daily rhythm, but once a year you should mentally resign your role and start over. To be clear, I do NOT mean an actual resignation where you leave the job and hope to get re-hired the next day. I mean that you mentally imagine yourself leaving, take some time to evaluate your stewardship, and look at your role again with fresh eyes. Here are 6 reasons why I resign/restart my role once a year:
1. You will remember your role is temporary.
We can easily forget that our assignment is temporary and start to believe that we own our roles and the organizations we serve. We don’t. We are stewards for a season. Leaders are always on a temporary assignment. Remembering our roles are temporary helps us focus on the most important.
2. You will be reminded of the opportunity.
When you first took your assignment, you were excited about the opportunity, eager to use your role to serve others and make an impact. But life can beat the excitement out of you, especially if you don’t pull up from the daily grind to remember the honor of stewardship you have been given. Here is what will likely happen when you resign/restart: you will see the opportunity is as great as it has ever been and now you are equipped with insight and tenure you did not have when you first took the role.
3. You will be encouraged with the progress.
Many have said that leaders tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in five years. With the long view in mind, likely you will be encouraged with what is being accomplished.
4. You will identify priorities you should attack now.
Imagining that you are leaving helps you recognize essential tasks in your role now. If someone new came into your role today, what would you tell them they should do? Do that.
5. You will see where you are wasting time on the less important.
Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (Psalm 90:12). Your days in your leadership role are numbered. They are already fixed and set. You have a finite amount of time to lead in your current context. When you identify the most important, you will likely also see where you are wasting lots of time on the less important. Steal time from the less significant tasks and give it to the more significant ones.
6. You will be forced to think about succession.
Imagining that you are leaving will force you to think about who on the team shows indications of being able to handle more leadership—and force you to think more seriously about their development. If you cannot hand your role over to someone else on your team, you have not developed others well. If the success of the ministry or organization depends on you and your gifting, you have not made development a central priority of your leadership.