In my last post I noted that one of the insights that arose from Robert Clinton’s research on biblical, historical and contemporary leaders is that few leaders finish well. Clinton dug deeper into this issue and discovered “six barriers to finishing well.” It is good to know and be reminded of these common problem areas. Awareness of these leadership tendencies is a first step in avoiding them.

Barrier 1: Finances — their use and abuse. Responsible leaders diligently work to insure that their organizations function at high levels of financial accountability and transparency.

Barrier 2: Power — its abuse. Responsible leaders don’t consolidate power. Instead, they distribute power. Consolidated power is efficient and can be effective in the short term. However, over time power tends to corrupt and results in abuse of people and other organizational resources.

Barrier 3: Pride. Responsible leaders genuinely pass accolades on to others. The Bible is not kidding when it says that pride precedes destruction. Humility might be a rare characteristic in leaders, but it is valuable.

Barrier 4: Sex — illicit relationships. Responsible leaders desire purity and recognize their weaknesses. They buttress their good intentions with accountability structures.

Barrier 5: Family — problems between family members. Responsible leaders consider their family relationships as one of their most important ministries. They give sufficient time and attention to maintain these relationships at a high level.

Barrier 6: Plateauing. Responsible leaders continue to learn and grow through their entire lives.