In Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges book Lead Like Jesus, they pointed out that a vital part of being a leader is leading yourself.
In order to lead yourself one must ask the deep personal question “Who Am I?” Or as they stated in their book:
The second question–“Who Am I?”–deals with your life purpose. Why did the Lord put you on earth? What does he want to do through you.
This question is not as easy to answer as it may seem. It demands that one look deeply into his or her design. For me answering this question demanded an honest evaluation of who I was–not who I want to be or even more importantly who I wanted to be like.
Hero worship is a trap for many of us on this journey. It often starts with mom and dad, and then moves to others which could even include a celebrity or two. For me it began with my father who was and is my hero in many ways. One of the struggles in my life was realizing that one of the best ways I could honor my father was to be myself. God did not make me to be a clone of him. God made me to be me.
A bit later in my journey I wanted to be like a good friend of mine named Bob. Bob was the pastor of a growing thriving church in the Metroplex. Each week God used him to touch the lives of people in amazing ways. I even asked Bob to mentor me and to teach me (to be like him.) There was only one huge problem, I was not Bob, nor could I duplicate his personality, skills, and traits. On this journey to be like Bob another good friend in passing said something that shaped my life. He said, “David, just be yourself–you don’t need to be like Bob to be successful.”
You see the fact remains that if you become like your hero–you rob the world of the blessing God created you to be.
“Who am I?”
A few years ago I chose these words to bring clarity to my professional life when I wrote:
“God created me to love and to lead the people of God through seasons of change.”
This simple statement has been a guiding star to my journey. It has helped me to be me. I hope it has helped me to glorify the one who created me.
On the ancient Temple of Apollo, the Greeks carved the words “Know Thyself”. These great thinkers and philosophers realize the power and potential when one came to grips with who they really are.
Jesus summed up his mission simply when he said:
The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost–Luke 19.10
Remember to begin your journey of leading by looking deeply into your own heart and answering the questions:
Whose am I?
Who am I?