The Line Between Leading and Quitting

I was thinking about leadership and quitting.  I am not sure I have an answer for this one or an opinion.  Do leaders quit?  Do leaders cut bait?  Who decides where the line is?  Do you have an opinion?

Leading and having vision of what could be is what leaders do.  Leading through adversity and pain and disappointment and other people quitting, that’s where a leader is formed.  Right?  The character of a leader is formed through it.  Right?

Is quitting a leadership skill?  I don’t know.  If you have an opinion, please enlighten me.

8 thoughts on “The Line Between Leading and Quitting

  1. I think that being a leader means knowing when it is time to quit. A leader should definitely not be the first one to throw in the towel, but they should be able to know when the situation is hopeless and it is time to give up and move on. So in that sense it is a skill you could say. Just my 2 cents.

    1. I hear what you’re saying Paul. You’re right that a leaders should know when to quit, but let me ask you this. If the leader was leading – then it’s his fault that he has to quit – or it’s his fault that things aren’t going great right. I mean – even if it’s not his fault, he was still the leader. If he inherited it and it was someone elses deal before – he’s got no excuse because he’s the leader. If it’s a hopeless situation, the leader got them to that point so then he’s giving up and moving on on what he created as a hopeless situation. What do you think?

      1. Hm, hadn’t thought of that before. I’d have to still stand by my original comment before, because it isn’t always the leader’s fault that the situation isn’t working out. Sometimes the people they are leading rebel don’t want to do what the leader asks/leads them to do. I don’t think the leader can be held responsible in a situation like that.

        To boil it down, though, I think knowing when to quit is a good skill for everyone to have. In a perfect world, we would never have to quit because things wouldn’t go wrong. But that’s the catch, of course. We don’t live in a perfect world, so we sometimes have things go wrong. I believe it is a leader’s responsibility to know when to “throw in the towel.” The leader obviously should not be the first one to give up, and maybe would even be the last to give up.

        I totally agree with you, though, that leading through adversity is when leaders are formed. Adversity builds character (an idea in James and Romans, I believe). Therefore, leaders should not throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. A person who does so would not be qualified as a leader.

  2. I was at Barnes and Noble a few days ago and I picked up a book randomly in the business section that drew my interest. It said something to the affect that good leaders are the best quitters. Let me explain-Leaders see when somethings not working (vision) and they quickly change course.

    Technically that is just redirecting and taking a better route but pursuing ultimately the same goal. So I guess you would have to define quitting…

  3. “Never Quit. “Don’t ever, ever quit. Recognize that stopping now, regrouping to try a new approach isn’t quitting. If you quit you’ll regret it forever.”

    ~ Rudy Ruettiger

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