Last week I wrote about vulnerability…you can read it here.
But I want to hammer on this a little more. And here’s why.
I have seen too many leaders with strong leadership gifts fall apart because of character issues or lack of self-awareness. Some were spiritually mature but emotionally under-developed, others were emotionally mature and spiritually under-developed. How many leaders were in the news over the last few years because of character failure? Every leader has to be diligent at this. It breaks my heart to hear of a church leader with so much potential do something that shatters his or her integrity, and thus affects the bigger picture. We have to cultivate a healthy measure of self-awareness, which means we have to have some permission-giving systems built into our lives.
Do we have people in our lives that we give permission to speak truth to us—to rebuke, to correct, to probe—without fear of retribution? Do we ask them periodically: what do you see in me that’s frustrating to you? How am I doing as a leader…as a friend?
And then do I also do that at a divine level as well? Have I given Jesus permission to reveal areas of my life where integrity is questioned? Do I schedule “searchlight” times with Jesus? That’s why David wrote a song to God that expressed, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Seriously consider these questions as a leader: How vulnerable am I? How willing am I to be corrected? How open to the voice of the Holy Spirit am I for a reprimand? As a follower of Jesus, if I’m not periodically hearing the whispers of the Spirit saying, “Don’t allow your thoughts to wander there”…“Forgive him”…“Don’t defend yourself on this one,”…“Listen more, talk less,” then I need to question the depth of my relationship with God.
Self-leadership means that we notch up our level of self-awareness, and that usually means finding places where we are willing to take the risk of being vulnerable—because a blind spot is just that: a blind spot. And if we really want to help others grow as whole people, then we need to discover our own stuff.
This aspect of self-awareness is why Jesus asked,
“Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Luke 6:41-42 NLT)
Or as the airline attendant says prior to takeoff, “Place your own oxygen mask on first before you assist others.”
What might happen in our churches, nonprofits, companies and families if leaders became more transparent with the failures of their organizations…and their own?
Question of the Day: As a leader, when was the last time you scheduled “searchlight-time” with God?
Dave Workman | ELEMENTAL CHURCHES
Adapted from Elemental Leaders: Four Essentials Every Leader Needs...And Every Church Must Have