Saturday, June 13, 2015

The source of a leader's identity directly impacts their leadership

Identity is a tricky thing. Who am I really? What gives me ultimate worth? Where do I find acceptance and a sense of purpose?

Those are profound questions for us. Let's assume for a moment that as the leader of a mission organization and a Senior Vice President in a denomination that my identity is a product of those responsibilities and titles. If that were to go away, who would I be? And if that is "who I am" what about the other parts of my life that have nothing to do with my job? Who am I there? 

In no way am I diminishing the part that calling and passion play in "who are are" and "who we become." But, if our identity is anywhere else than in who we are in Christ we have a problem. Everything else in life is ultimately temporary. Only He is permanent. Furthermore, only He can ultimately satisfy the deepest cravings and needs of the human heart because in the end we were made for Him.

Consider:
If my identity is found in my role, when that role disappears so does my identity.

If my identity is found in success, not only will I be driven to succeed but will drive others as well - and the goal line keeps changing so there is no crossing the goal.

If my identity is found in power, I will misuse that power and move deeper into hubris, hurting myself and everyone around me.

If my identity is in things, they eventually all go away. We leave the world as naked as when we arrived. 

If my identity is in fame, when my 15 minutes is over, so is my self worth. And then what?

Those leaders who are most grounded, most comfortable in their own skin, most healthy and most unflappable are those who have finally found their true identity in the one place where our truest identity is found. Jesus. They have focused their lives on Him first and understand the truths of Ephesians 1 and 2 relative to our position in Christ. They have found a profound settledness in Him.

What is the true ground of your identity? 





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