Leadership and Main

Bettering Others and the World You Live In

When The Good Leaders Are Gone

When the good leaders are gone

What do we do when the good leaders are gone?  Every generation has an inherent fear of who carries the torch.  Will there be someone to carry it?

The Last Four Years

World-wide pandemic, supply chain disruption, social unrest, global tensions, inflation, and unprecedented labor shortages.  Just a few of the challenges those who have led since January of 2020 have faced. 

Tired, stressed, discouraged, criticized, defeated, short-handed, chaotic, disputed, questioned, imbalanced, instability, frustrated, overworked, isolated, challenged, disbelief, and anxious.  Just a few things that those who have led since January of 2020 have felt.

Public servants, pastors, small business owners, police officers, educators, elected officials, restaurateurs, architects, lawyers, engineers, CEO’s, the members of our armed forces, and every level of leadership in between.  No one was exempt. 

Given those circumstances, we are still standing more than four years later.  But, what is the toll that has been taken?  I often joke that the last few years are like dog years in a leader’s life.  Four, may have felt like 28!      

Dr. Sam Chand Event

This past week, I received an invitation from my Pastor, Mike Linch, to hear Dr. Sam Chand Speak.  The event took place at the Porche Experience Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

As with all commitments made well in advance, the night before can make you question that commitment.  It was an extremely busy week and taking a full day away from the office seemed counter-productive the night before.  Thankfully…I was wrong. 

We had a table of nine that featured some of our community’s best and brightest leaders.  Dr. Chand said towards the beginning of his comments, “My life has been changed by the table I am sitting at.”  I was fortunate to be at that table.

Whenever I am in a learning environment like that, it creates space for me to enter into deep reflection and thought.  In his opening comments, Dr. Chand referenced 2020 as the year of “chaos.” 

I wrote six pages of notes in my ReMarkable.  On page one, I wrote this thought, “What do we do when the good leaders are gone?”  The thought has plagued me ever since.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart.  To be an effective leader it takes blood, sweat, and tears.  If we desire to lead well, it requires patience and perseverance. 

The Questions

For us as current leaders….do we have enough left in the tank to finish well?  Have the last four years taken enough off our leadership lives to succumb to the challenges we have faced?  Is there hope for a better tomorrow?  Will things ever return to life and leadership as they were prior to January of 2020? 

For the next generation of leaders…will they have the willingness to better others?  Are they gritty enough to be prepared for the grind of leadership?  Are they prepared for the vast opportunities in front of them? 


What is the solution?  How do we never get to the point of wondering where the good leaders have gone?  The answer…I don’t know for sure, but I know a starting point. 

Everything begins and ends with leadership.  So let’s you and I lead on this. 

How about the next time we desire to post a nasty review of a business, engage negatively in the comment section of a social media post, or beat someone down with our words…remember there is a leader on the other side. 

Maybe the next time we demonstrate a lack of empathy for what someone may be walking through, be the Monday morning quarterback of someone else’s world, or pile on someone when they fall….remember there is a leader on the other side. 

This is a leader that has experienced the same things you and I have felt over the last four years.  One that desires encouragement, not discouragement.  If each of us leads from that perspective, maybe…just maybe…we won’t have to ask the big question after all, “What do we do when all the good leaders are gone?”

Because, when the good leaders are gone…they are gone.     

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