Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 5 Reasons You Can't Be the Leader You Were 5 Years Ago

5 Reasons You Can't Be the Leader You Were 5 Years Ago

There are some facets of leadership that are constant. Character and integrity are vital. You must have willing followers. And you must be courageous. Those are some of the key components of effective leadership five years ago. They still are today and will be fifty years from now.

But so much of leadership is changing. In fact, keeping pace as a leader has never been more difficult.

I interviewed several leaders whom I respect and follow. I asked each of them how leadership has changed over the past five years. To the person, each of them said that the changes have been fast and furious and have demanded much of them. And though my study was not scientific, the responses were fascinating.

In summary, these leaders shared with me five reasons you can’t lead like you did five years ago.


1. The digital revolution affects all aspects of leadership.

 We have observed the radical change in the music industry in this digital era. We are in the midst of another revolution in the print and book industry. But no organization is unfazed by the digital revolution. Leadership today demands we understand it and embrace it.

2. Social media is changing the landscape of leadership.

Social media is the great equalizer. No organization has an inherent communication advantage anymore. Leaders must embrace the many facets of social media or get left behind. It’s hard to believe I started tweeting in 2008. It seems like I’ve been doing it for a decade.

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thomrainer@churchleaders.com'
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.