Leadership Podcast: Institutionalizing Urgency, Part 2

Thank you for joining the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast! In many organizations, urgency is not the default mode—complacency is. In the last episode, Institutionalizing Urgency, Part 1, Craig discussed two steps to declare war on complacency in your culture: embody healthy skepticism, and attack, don’t yak. Today, we’ll talk about two more steps to take to create sustained urgency and passion for your organization’s mission.

3. Pursue continual discomfort. We like comfort. Comfort zones are comfortable because they’re familiar, not because they are healthy. Find comfort in being uncomfortable: Growth and comfort never coexist. True success begins at the end of your comfort zone. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. Set specific, short-term, memorable goals: An average plan implemented today is better than a great plan implemented a month from now.

4. Get emotional. Facts don’t move people to action. Emotion evokes action. Great leaders win over hearts and minds. Remember the equation from Part 1:

Outside opposition + Divine calling + Limited time = Sustained urgency

Lack of urgency is the beginning of the end! We may not have "later," so we need to focus on getting wins now.

Remember, you don’t have to know it all to be a great leader! Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right.


Here's an exercise you can do to grow as a leader—ask your team these questions:

1. What is a current stretch goal that drives you to lead with urgency?

2. What are three things you can do to deepen your emotional connection to your work or ministry?

3. What do you say to yourself each morning before your day starts? Are you happy with your inner dialog? If not, what are you going to do about it?


How do you overcome problems where there are employees who don’t seem to care due to lack of interest or motivation?

Everyone cares about something. Everyone is motivated, even if they're motivated to do nothing. The why matters more than we can imagine. When you are trying to lead someone who's not motivated, help them see why their work matters. Help them understand how their lack of effort affects others. Help them feel valued when they do the right things—create a culture of appreciation. And finally, if they never plug in, help them find another place to use their gifts.

How do I find and develop those individuals with organizational drive and avoid those with personal ambition?

What kind of language do they use? Is it mission-minded language like "we, us, our," or personal language, like "me, my, and I"? We want people with passion and drive, not personal ambition. Passion leads toward the mission. Ambition leads toward personal success. Some people will undermine others or the mission if it helps them. They quietly try to get people to be loyal to them and not loyal to the organizational mission. Those who lead toward the mission end up succeeding. Those who lead toward themselves eventually limit themselves. Point out ambition and why it hurts the mission. If you can’t fix it, let them be ambitious somewhere else.

Have a question for Craig? Email him at leadership@life.church.