The Leader’s Foundation: What do you bring that is uniquely you?

For the near future, the way that these blogs for leaders will be organized is in series of four articles under a major topic.  This first article under the topic of The Leader’s Foundation addresses that most important aspect of understanding what a leader brings to his or her leadership.

Concepts like who you are in Christ?  How has God designed you?  How do you leverage your personality?  What should you focus on being and doing at a given stage in your life to enhance your effective for your next stage?  How can you glorify God by enjoying both Him and life?

For instance, our American (and often Christian) culture tells us that our worth comes from what we do (work), how much we have (assets), and who we know (prestige).  Even those of us who know that in Christ we are children of God with immense value, we often find ourselves linking our worth to what is affirmed around us.

For instance, many Navigator staff have participated in the Personal Contribution Assessment seminar conducted by the People Resource Team.  During that experience participants learn about and reflect upon their personality/temperament profile, their preferred values, and their spiritual gifts, all of which give insight into one’s unique design.  However, how good are we at integrating what we learn into our leading of others and team building?  If what we learn about ourselves is kept to ourselves and we do not intentionally live our design with those we lead, we have not stewarded that learning experience well.

For instance, we glean from the social sciences as well as biblical studies that people grow through life stages.  Some learning is more foundational than another for lifelong health.  Growing deep roots of character is essential before assuming expanded leadership; otherwise one’s foundation will crack under the weight of responsibility.  Certain ministry skills, such as leading and building a team, are a pre-requisite to more complex leadership, otherwise one will not have the experiential credibility needed to lead others well.

The point I am trying to make is that God has designed each leader in a unique way.  Instead of trying to become someone we were never designed to be, we should focus personally and interpersonally on becoming all we were created to be.  The Apostle Paul seemed to have this truth in mind when he wrote: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)  And again Paul wrote: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands…” (2 Timothy 1:6) The effectiveness of one’s leading will be linked to living out of one’s design.

The CORE Leadership model within The Navigator is based on the biblical understanding of a Shepherd Leader.  From Genesis to Revelation we find that a shepherd leader is one who assumes responsibility to lead, develop, AND care for those he or she supervises.  Moreover, every leader has a strength, a stretch, and a struggle in one of these three areas.  We are unique in our design and should leverage our strength so to lead out of our design.

How convinced are you of your unique design and how well aligned are you in your ministry?

Next Blog: How do you transition well to a new leadership role?

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