Key man risk has been, until recently, a simple risk term. It related to key individuals and accidents, illness, or decisions to leave for another company. Recent experience suggests there is another type of key man risk I should question.
Is there a key man risk that exists within leadership roles that captures the community’s exposure if the intent and heart of leadership is not aligned with aspirations? In blunt terms, what happens when a leader(s) go off the rails? If her/his agenda is different than the community, is this a risk? What if s/he fails to live up to the standards? Does intent and actions matter?
In several recent examples, key man risk has touched my life. The challenge rests in the reality that the individual is still here. S/he is in the role. They are in the lead. Whatever one might think, everyone is going to pay some part of the price for an individual’s failure.
I am not the first to come up with this. Centuries ago a writer noted how an examiner “comes up empty. A string of zeros. Useless, unshepherded sheep, taking turns pretending to be shepherd. The ninety and nine follow their fellow.” (Psalm 14.3) The risk repeats and repeats, catching each community by surprise.
As I struggle to know how to respond, I realize that God has entrusted us, myself included, with compassion, love, and mercy. We are on the point. Divinity can take action however you and I represent key man risk. God’s response is a model I can use with others around me.
I am accepted. As I am, where I am. God works with each from the point s/he is at.
The work of change is growth is always forward and upward. At times, we need to focus. Getting our attention is the first step in moving towards something better.
God’s work is a series of steps. The steps repeat and repeat, moving us upwards with each cycle. The iterative process reflects a belief that we can be more than what we are.
We are keys.