A great challenge of leadership is the reality that we deal with broken human beings. The challenge is greater because as leaders, we ourselves are broken humans. But as broken human beings leading broken human beings, we are all trying to follow the Perfect One, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am afraid that too many of us forget this fact when we are responsible for the department or the entire organization. Suddenly we expect everyone to do their part perfectly; and if they don’t, we get frustrated and wonder why people can’t be relied upon to get things done in a timely manner and in the way we want them done.
Part of the challenge for us as leaders is that when we recruit people to work for us, we only see the gifts, talents and experiences that attracted us to them. Yet we often fail to bear in mind that this person is still an imperfect human being trying to follow the way of the Perfect One.
This failure to realize the imperfection of the people around us leads to us become frustrated and disappointed when these people fail us.
I wonder what might happen if we changed our focus from the failures and disappointments to the gold that can be found in the midst of the debris of failure. The reality is each of us carries gold within because we are all fearfully and wonderfully created in the image and likeness of our God. We have all been given gifts and talents to fulfill our purpose on this earth.
The problem is, like looking for the precious metal gold, we only find it after digging past the dirt it is buried in, or the stone in which it is embedded. For each of us, sin has buried the God-given gold beneath the brokenness of our lives. For some of us, deeper digging is required to find the gold because of the depth of our brokenness.
As leaders of God’s people, I believe God has called us to the task of gold-digging. We are called to look beyond the faults and failures of the people around us and see the gold buried beneath the brokenness; and then help them find it!
Sadly, this is not always the case with many of the leaders of God’s people. Rather than being a gold digger for God, we become impatient and frustrated with the failings and shortcomings of those we are called to lead.
I have found one of the main reasons many leaders struggle to look past other peoples’ failures is because they have not accepted their own brokenness. Before we can see beyond the brokenness of others, we must first honestly face and accept the fact that we too are broken. We are only where we are because someone looked beyond our brokenness and saw the gold. Think of the many people in your life who, over the years, have supported you and believed in you even while knowing your brokenness.
Looking for the gold within the mess of brokenness will take work – sometimes a lot of work! But in the end, the beauty of the revealed gold far outweighs the work. The challenge for many of us is that we want the gold without the work. So, we recruit the people who seem to have it all together and hope and pray they don’t mess up.
I wonder what might happen if we accepted people in midst of their brokenness and failures, all the while looking for the gold within them? How would this change your view of others, especially those whose brokenness has affected you personally?
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.