When Focusing on Your Weaknesses Gets in the Way of Your Leadership

Sometimes weakness will manifest in leaders doing things they should not be doing, or things they are simply unsuited to do. At other times, weakness may result in leaders avoiding things they really ought to do.

Weaknesses can get in the way of leadership. However, we often do not talk about another side to weaknesses in leaders. That is, a leader who focuses on her weaknesses to the extent that she does not lead from her strengths?

Moses and Gideon are two good biblical examples of such leaders. When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out from under the bondage of slavery in Egypt, Moses pointed to his weakness (Ex. 4:10) as the reason he could not (or should not) be the one to lead the children of Israel.

From the beginning of Chapter 3 up to Chapter 4:9, God has been demonstrating to Moses His great power to do miracles. But when called upon to lead, Moses’s response was to point to his weakness saying, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

Then there is Gideon. In Judges 6 we find the encounter between God and Gideon. The angel greeted Gideon as the Lord saw him, “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). Like Moses God promised to be with Gideon in leading the children of Israel. What does Gideon do? He points to his weakness as the reason why he could not be the one to lead (Judges 6: 15). Essentially Gideon said, “I’m an insignificant person from an insignificant family. No one will listen to me!”

Have you ever met a leader who is talented, gifted and well educated but struggles to lead? Many times, leaders like these focus more on their weaknesses than on the gifts and talents they have to lead. You talk to them and ask how things are going and immediately they dive into why they don’t think they have what it takes to lead. And you are standing there mystified, thinking, “If I was half as talented as this person, I would do a much better job as a leader.”

Like Moses and Gideon, it is very easy to point to weaknesses as a reason for not taking up the leadership role God has ordained for you. But remember, if your leadership calling is God-ordained, God has promised to be with you however daunting the task may be.

Do not get stuck in your weaknesses and fears as the reasons not to risk it all and follow God wherever he is calling you to take those you are leading. Like Moses and Gideon, do not become so self-focused that you miss God’s reminders to you of what He can do in and through you as a leader if you will only trust Him. Certainly, our trust is in God, not our own strengths. But on the flip side, we want to avoid failing to trust God by placing undue emphasis upon our weaknesses.

What challenge has God been calling you to that you have not taken up because you have been too focused on your weaknesses? After acknowledging your weaknesses why not do like Moses and Gideon did and follow Him – and see what great work God will do through you.

I am not sure where I first heard or read this quote, so I can’t give credit, but it is a compelling thought: “If you lead with barriers you will limit the possibilities of the future.” What limits are you putting on the future.

Like Moses and Gideon, you too can go on to great things for God if you refuse to focus on your weaknesses and instead focus on the God who has called you to lead.

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 errol@errolcarrim.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.