4 Forms of Stagnation that Defeat Leaders and Destroy Organizations

Stagnation serves up death in sugary bites that taste like cake.

Regardless of the contents of your leadership, you found it moving forward. The opposite of forward is stagnation.


4 forms of stagnation that destroy leaders:

  1. Exploring options without choosing any.
  2. Repetition minus purpose. Busywork is death incognito.
  3. Procrastination under the guise of preparation. Stagnation loves it when you’re always getting ready to do something, but never doing it.
  4. Rejecting input offhandedly.

Remove forward from your vocabulary and all you have left is stagnation and death. The latter being a slow form of the former. 

You find the leadership you want wrapped in brown paper with dings and tears along the road to somewhere else. It never comes with bows. It’s often unexpected. You find it while moving forward.


Anyone – including yourself – who blocks forward movement is evil.

  1. Coddling-colleagues who justify complaints and concerns.
  2. Excuse makers who couldn’t dream their way out of a wet paper bag.
  3. Cowards with puffy chests who choose safety over stepping forward.
  4. People who use, “Give it time.” as a reason to ease up.

The most important word:

The most important word in leadership is forward.

We love leadership words like mission, vision, values, ethics, passion, talent, and strengths. But they’re all drivel apart from forward. What good is a strength that doesn’t move you forward?

The ultimate question of leadership is how are we moving forward today. Yes, forward ethically. Yes, forward leveraging strengths. But always forward.

When you stop moving forward you stop leading.

Rest and reflection:

Give a leader time off and they start prancing like a racehorse in the starting gate.

All who love ease are sinister destroyers. Rest and reflection are not an end in themselves. The purpose of rest and reflection is energy and impatience to move forward.

How might leaders defeat stagnation and enable forward movement?