Quitters never win and winners never quit was drilled into my mind at an early age. I believed it. I practiced it. I lived it. I only quit one thing in my life before age 18, my high school football team. I quit because I sat on the bench 99.976% of the time. Since, then, however, I’ve questioned the veracity of that phrase, as catchy as it may sound. And recently I heard a concept that further spurred my thinking about quitting – strategic quitting. What is strategic quitting and why should pastors and leaders practice it? In this post I define strategic quitting and suggest 5 signs that you need to quit something.
First, a definition of strategic quitting. Strategic quitting is thoughtfully and carefully quitting a program, ministry, or initiative that simply is not working, has become staid, is disproportionately sucking up resources, or simply needs to go. In contrast to reactive quitting, quitting when things simply get harder, strategic quitting is not a spur of the moment knee-jerk reaction to difficulty. Rather it is a measured decision carefully made.
It’s a concept so essential that leadership expert Seth Godin even wrote a book about about it, The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit. He says, “Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations.”