1. I am no longer in my area of passion.
Over time, being out of our area of passion will erode our joy and effectiveness. We can operate in this zone for a season but it eventually will catch up to us.
2. I have accomplished what I set out to do.
This is particularly true for individuals who are change agents and need the challenge of fixing something. Once the change has been accomplished or the project finished it is time for a new challenge.
3. I am in fundamental conflict with the direction of the organization.
There are times when organizational leaders take an organization in a direction that is fundamentally different than our own convictions. One can make their thoughts known but if that does not work, it may simply be time to find another place to use our talents rather than live in continual conflict between what is and what you believe it should be.
4. I am unempowered in my work.
Few things are more frustrating than a lack of empowerment. Essentially it means that we cannot use our gifts and creativity but must constantly get permission, modify our plans and live with the control of an unempowering leader.
5. I am bored. Boredom can be a symptom of a number of things on this list but it cannot be sustained long term if we are going to keep our edge. Boredom is a warning that something is not right in our occupation.
6. Leadership has changed and I was closely tied to the old leadership.
This is always a risk for senior leaders as Executive Pastors for instance know all too well. New leaders often want to bring in their own team and may ask for a resignation or simply marginalize those who previously had influence. The bottom line is that there is not the same trust or opportunity and for someone who values these it will be frustrating to stay.
7. The team or organization I am with is deeply dysfunctional.
Again, this can be tolerated for a season but if there is not hope for change long term the dysfunction limits our ability to maximize our gifting and there is a significant loss of Return On Mission. In addition organizational dysfunction can rub off on us in ways that we don't appreciate.
None of these mean that the organization we are with is not a good one. They simply indicate that we may not be in the right place to maximize our own gifts and impact. But, they should not be ignored.
TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.