You do not have to look far to find someone who has failed at achieving their life’s goals because they did not take the time to know who they were emotionally, how to control their emotions, and what motivated their emotions. You may have experienced consequences due to lack of awareness of emotional strengths and weaknesses; you failed because you thought you were strong in an area where you were actually weak.
You can’t seem to get on top of things at work; the to-do list at home is growing; time with loved ones is increasingly limited. You have come to accept your busy-ness and justify the lack of time with family with, “It’s not the quantity but the quality of the time spent together that matters.”
You sense the distance growing between you, your spouse, your children, or other significant persons.
Take care of yourself? You have no time to exercise, rest well, or eat properly. You always feel tired.
As a leader, one thing is certain: you will face relational challenges. At times these challenges are easily resolved; other times they are time- and energy-consuming.
The easily resolved challenges generally are those which arise from simple misunderstandings. Recently I discovered that someone assumed I was upset with them because someone else had spoken to me about them. After they spoke with me of their perception, I had the opportunity to explain that it was a misunderstanding. They then were able to put it behind them and move on.
In Mark 7:21-22 Jesus warns us of what comes from the heart; things such as evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. You don’t have to work at these things; they come naturally to the human heart.
Take a child for instance; you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish, say no or throw a tantrum. You do not have to teach the child to hit, scream or get in a fight with another child. Rather, you find parents trying to teach their children how to be nice, caring, share and control their temper.
As a leader your use of words is by far the most influential tool you have for controlling and influencing those you lead. Your words define the culture of the organization. The question is not whether your organization has a culture, but what kind of culture you have created or are creating?
Let us look at some ways in which your words help create the culture of your organization.
Leaders often are tempted to take too much credit for success and too much blame for failure within the organization they lead. Although in faith-based organizations the tendency often is to deflect praise away from oneself, those in leadership often receive most of the credit or most of the blame. This is even more likely when the leader has a dominant personality (personality-driven leadership).
Exodus 32 presents a fascinating scenario of a leader who refuses to take either credit or blame, but who maintains responsibility and focus.
Some time ago I posted a blog on the challenges I faced when I first arrived here in New Zealand and started jogging. For those of you who missed that post or need a refresher you can find it here, How Rude! Now nearing the end of my stay here, I have noticed a very interesting change from my early experience.
In the last month or so, while out jogging, I have noticed drivers waving, even smiling at me as they drive by. Some even wave and smile before I have time to wave or smile first! Most surprising of all, I have noticed that some drivers are giving me the right of way! What a contrast from when I first arrived in January.
What are you more known for: your personality or your character?
Do you focus more on how others perceive you; or on being true to yourself in a way that respects yourself and others, and honors God?
“The word personality itself stems from the Latin word persona, which referred to a theatrical mask worn by performers in order to either project different roles or disguise their identities” (Kendra Cherry).
In John 17:16, Jesus said those who follow Him are not of the world as he is not of the world. Although we are in the world as His followers, we are not of this world in terms of the values and standards, as the world’s stand in contrast or opposition to the kingdom of God.
As a follower of Jesus living in the world, you should focus on living out and displaying the qualities of the One you are following, Jesus Christ.
Emotionally healthy leaders are leaders who have embraced their real self and are comfortable with who they are in Christ. They know they have weaknesses; they have made mistakes and are not perfect. They are honest with themselves, they don’t live in denial of who they are.