Five ways leaders can fall from the top

By: Shawn Lovejoy

Confession time: I am tired of seeing great leaders fall.

For 15 years I’ve coached leaders towards health and vitality. So it’s heartbreaking to see the opposite occur.

Here’s some reality for you: If you are the leader, you are at the top. However, there are leaders every day who fall from the top.

I want you to succeed, not stumble! If you will, please allow me to give you 5 ways to set yourself up to fall from the top – whether you think you’re a leader or not.


The best gift I can give to my team is a healthy me. The most difficult person you will ever lead is yourself. Never leading ourselves means we forget boundaries. Leading ourselves comes down to discipline. Learn to put yourself first to find health. If you are the leader and you get better, everyone and everything else will get better.


Life is not intended to be lived in balance, but in rhythm: Intensity followed by rest. Sabbath is a state of mind, and a state of living. Consistently working on our day off and on vacation, is the primary indicator of workaholism. I was delivered from workaholism, and you can be too. We simply cannot “redline” our gauges all the time. Every engine needs time to cool off. If we don’t know how to shut down at the end of the day or week, we will eventually burn out or moral failure out. When we get tired, we’re more vulnerable to temptation. Our need for speed can kill us: emotionally, spiritually, and physically.


Success is being loved and respected by those closest to us. Most people are not as successful or happy as they look online. Being too busy to spend time with those closest to us is tragic for the individual and an organization. The No. 1 reason individuals, who could be the next leader, leave an organization is because they feel disconnected from the leader. The difference between entrepreneurship and leadership is the way we care for people. The two most important things in this world are: Loving God and loving people. If we are fortunate, we will finish with one team: our family.


The No. 1 mistake I see leaders make is isolation. When we stay isolated, we begin to think and act weirdly. This is just one reason why I believe every leader needs a coach. No one ever won by retreating. Growth in our lives happens when we allow others to help us identify and eliminate our blind spots. Friendships are worth fighting for. If we stop learning and from others, we will stop growing. If we stop growing, our organization will eventually stop growing.


You may not get depressed easily, but you will be discouraged eventually. Our secrets put a lid on our success. Pride goes before a fall. Teachability and vulnerability are two of the greatest traits of a leader. A coaching relationship is a great place to begin stretch the muscle of vulnerability. Everyone struggles. Great leaders don’t struggle alone.

Do you want to join a faith-based community? Sign up today for Kirk Cameron’s The Campfire. 

Shawn Lovejoy is the Founder & CEO of, and the author of Measuring Success: Your Path to Significance, Satisfaction, & Leading Yourself to the Next Level. He leads teams of coaches whose passion is coaching leaders through what keeps them up at night. He loves helping organizations and ministries accomplish their potential and gain or sustain momentum. Shawn has led a successful real estate business, a fast-growing megachurch, and now a fast-growing coaching organization. He has been married for 25 years to his best friend Tricia, and they and their three children live in Birmingham, Alabama.


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